Future Digital Inclusion

One of Tinder Foundation’s flagship programmes, the Future Digital Inclusion (FDI) programme aims to teach Basic Digital Skills to one million digitally excluded people, with a focus on those who are unemployed, disabled, or low-skilled.

Future Digital Inclusion has allowed us to both directly fund basic online skills delivery in UK online centres across the country, and continue to develop our learning resources for the entire network.

In 2015-16, the programme – funded by the Department and Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) – used the deep reach of the UK online centres network to support some of the hardest to reach groups in society. Unemployed people, disabled people and low-skilled people were just some of the groups reached, along with those living in poverty, people in social housing and those in receipt of means-tested benefits.

Since October 2015, HMRC also invested in the Future Digital Inclusion programme, helping us train an additional 44,880 people in addition to the 231,650 people trained by the BIS-funded element of the programme.

When she saw all the things she could do more easily online, Wendy Wass, 68, from Lincoln, decided it was time to “bite the bullet” and give it a go. She never imagined that she could do so much, so easily online – especially her finances.

“We were getting left behind,” says Wendy. “Every time we saw an advert on television saying to go on the websites, we couldn’t do anything like that.”

Wendy lives with her husband who suffers from ill-health. Being able to manage her finances online, including banking, paying her bills and even shopping, has made life much easier for them both.


Lloyds Banking Group – a partnership with real impact

Back in February 2014, we launched the report, A leading digital nation by 2020, which, amongst many other things, suggested that for the UK to reach its digital potential would require joint investment from the public, community and private sectors.

As such, we’re extremely proud that Lloyds Banking Group demonstrated its commitment to basic digital skills this year, by working closely with Tinder Foundation. Our relationship with Lloyds Banking Group has grown as we’ve work together on increasingly diverse activities.

Digital Champion training

In April of 2015, Lloyds Banking Group committed to training 20,000 members of their staff as Digital Champions. Tinder Foundation has been instrumental both in delivering hands on training sessions, giving the first cohorts of these volunteers the skills they need to support those new to the internet, and also in providing Lloyds with the resources they need to train many more thousands of their colleagues over the next year.

Financial Inclusion learning

Launched on Learn My Way in March 2016 – after several months of productive co-creation – were three new courses aimed at helping consumers feel safe about handling money and personal information online – Online banking, Make money work, and Keeping your information safe.

Volunteering portal

With 20,000 new Digital Champions looking – or about to be looking – for volunteering opportunities, January saw the launch of the Corporate Volunteer portal on the UK online centres website.

The portal is giving members of the UK online centres network the opportunity to register digital skills volunteering opportunities with their organisation and this database of opportunities is shared with Lloyds Banking Group, allowing their newly trained Digital Champions the opportunity to find a centre in need near them.

Training charities with the Lloyds Banking Foundation Enhance programme

The Lloyds Banking Foundation Enhance programme supports charities across the UK to get access to the training and support they need to operate more effectively. The Tinder Foundation Communications, Digital and Learning teams have been proud to help some of these charities with training on web design, digital content planning, effective social media and more.

We look forward to continuing and growing our work together with Lloyds Banking Group, to help individuals and organisations make the most of digital, over the coming year.

Our Libraries action research project

Libraries have always been a vital part of the UK online centres network, making up 55% of the network.

Based in the very heart of communities, libraries and Tinder Foundation have long worked together to advocate for digital inclusion and help those who are socially and digitally excluded.

In October 2015, Tinder Foundation partnered up with the Leadership for Libraries Taskforce to launch a Library Digital Inclusion Fund for a six-month action research project. We funded 16 libraries to run innovative pilots to support people to improve their digital skills.

From October 2015 to March 2016 the libraries involved used new approaches to engage with socially excluded people, investigating models of support that worked for their particular communities through new partnerships and technologies. The findings report is now available.

Successful delivery models identified include:

Delivery from branch libraries, with libraries taking advantage of the installation of WiFi across the libraries network.
Tablet delivery, with libraries providing a ‘try before you buy’ opportunity for learners.
Mobile classroom delivery, with libraries taking devices out into the community
Partnership delivery, with libraries developing partnerships to help them reach learners and recruit volunteers.

“Libraries are places of discovery and learning and it is fitting that they also offer the latest technologies and resources to the public, for free. We look forward to seeing the impact that these projects have on local communities.”

Ciara Eastell, President, Society of Chief Librarians

Raising the profile of work in libraries

In the summer of 2015, we received funding from Public Libraries 2020 through the Reading and Writing Agency to run the This is for everyone project, aimed at raising the profile of public libraries with key MPs and policy makers in the UK. As part of the project, we encouraged libraries within the UK online centres network to run Digital Surgeries with their local MPs during Get Online Week, inviting them in to see the great digital inclusion work happening in libraries. We wanted to help libraries foster long term relationships with MPs, and help MPs see libraries as key places to connect with their constituents.

Surgeries were held across the country to engage local MPs, including a surgery in Barrow, Cumbria that you can read more about here. In addition, resources have been created to help libraries (and other UK online centres) to engage with their MPs on an ongoing basis. A roundtable event also brought together influential partners and policy makers, and discuss how we can further support libraries to work with their communities to provide digital inclusion support for the hardest to reach.


“Inviting John Woodcock MP along to our library brought a new dimension to the library and attracted new people into the building which is then an opportunity for us to inform them of what we offer in the library. It was also a great way to publicise our presence generally”

Clare Bell, Barrow Libraries

Our Prince’s Countryside Fund project

This year, we came to the end of our project with the Prince’s Countryside Fund, which aimed to support small businesses in rural areas to improve their digital skills.

The project, which funded 6 rural UK online centres across the country, provided free, tailored one-to-one sessions to a range of rural businesses, including those in the hospitality and farming industries. Project outcomes include:

94% of businesses were more aware of the benefits of the internet to their business
93% of businesses felt more confident to develop their business
39% of businesses felt that they were more profitable following the training
59% of businesses felt that they were more sustainable following the training
41% felt that they had been able to access new markets through the use of digital tools.

255 businesses were supported by the project, which saw a broad range of wider benefits, including improved wellbeing and reduced stress for beneficiaries, alongside realised time savings and improved profitability.

The project came to an end in March 2016, and we’ve now received funding for the coming year to support rural areas with digital inclusion.