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Helping others get online

More than 100,000 people have already signed up...

pass it on logoNow it's your turn. Go ON is a big charity with a very big aim: to provide the 16 million adults in the UK who have never used the Internet with basic online skills.

An army of volunteers has already pledged to help friends, family - even random strangers - get online, and Go ON Chair Martha Lane Fox, the UK's digital champion, has announced that it's now possible to get a computer and get connected to the internet for around £100.

With more and more services rapidly moving on to the internet, from information on NHS services and banking to printing out airline boarding passes and school reports, people who aren’t yet online are becoming increasingly marginalised. Their lives are more expensive than they need to be. And they're missing out on information, pleasure, Gransnet - you name it.

Happily, as you’ve found us here, you’re already in the game, which is a good start. We'd now like to invite you to share your online know-how with other people who might need a helping hand.

Cheap computers

  • A group of companies has got together to create www.getonlineathome.org and provide affordable, accessible, ready-to-use refurbished computers plus low-cost broadband. The package starts at £95 for people on benefits and registered charities. There is also a £165 package which is open to all. 
  • Remploy’s £92 refurbished computer is now on sale nationwide via www.ecycleonline.co.uk or by calling 0161 763 0663. 

Where can I start?

To someone who’s never used a computer, much less the internet, it’s sometimes hard to communicate the benefits of being online. Here are some examples you could use to illustrate how becoming computer-literate could change someone’s life: 

  • They could read a bedside story to their grandson in Australia – or, better still, use something like Skype to call far-flung relatives for free.
  • By comparing prices online they could save money on insurance or their weekly groceries.
  • Using a local website could help them find a reliable tradesperson.
  • They could research their family history without leaving their armchair.

Got them interested yet? Show them www.ukonlinecentres.com and help them use the postcode finder to locate their nearest UK online centre, where they'll be able to get all the help and training they need, for free. Or get them to call 0800 77 1234 to find out where to go near where they live.

Visit Go ON's How You Can Help page for lots more tips.


Know someone who's still not convinced? Sometimes it takes time...There are lots of people who think the internet isn’t for them – use this myth-buster to respond to some common misconceptions: 

"I'm not interested."

You don’t need you to be interested in the internet – the internet itself isn't that interesting! What is interesting is all the things you can do as a result of getting connected. The internet helps you with your own interests. Whatever your hobby or favourite pastime, the internet can help you become better at it, find the things you need for it, as well as connect with people who share your passion.

"It's not for me."

Mice, modems, wwws - you may think you’ve got by pretty well in life so far without it. Fair enough, but things are changing. More and more of the things you need to do in life are done online, and there are umpteen websites with info, fellow fans and videos that will open up a world of fun to you.

"It's beyond me."

Computers look complicated, but there’s really nothing to be frightened of – and you can always grab a friend or neighbour if you get in a muddle or go to UK online centres or libraries to find courses full of lots of other people who are in exactly the same boat as you.

"I can't afford to get online."

You can use the kit and connectivity at UK online centres and libraries for free. Or, if you want to get online at home, the price-tags on computers are falling everyday, while broadband connections can cost as little as £7 a month.

"I might break it."

Good news: computers don’t blow up. The worst that can happen is that you’ll turn it off by mistake.

"The idea of being 'taught' fills me with dread." 

Lots of us find it easier to learn on computers than we did in classrooms. Computers let you learn at your own pace and without anyone looking over your shoulder. 

"What about online crime?"

There is a slight risk, but if you use your common sense, just like you do in the real world, and make sure your security software is up to date you’ll be okay. Be prepared for unwanted messages in your email address, but bin them, just like you do with junk mail! There’s also  www.getsafeonline.org where you can go to learn more. 

Other things you might like...

"I'm too old."

Sir Tim Berners-Lee, who invented the internet, was born in 1955 (ancient, then...). And Britain’s oldest user of Twitter, (an online way of keeping in touch) Ivy Bean, was 104. So what are you waiting for? Go ON, don’t miss out – ask for help today!

I’m interested. Where do I get started?

Visit Go ON's How You Can Help page.

It features loads of advice on how to encourage people online as well as more practical tips on helping people get kitted out with the equipment they need, from computers to broadband.

You can also let people know the number 0800 77 1234 or get them to use the postcode search on www.ukonlinecentres.com so they can find out where their local free internet courses are available.