Five years of digital skills support for Stockport residents

It’s Digitober and we’re focused on helping digitally excluded residents gain digital skills and confidence.

Digital exclusion is when people cannot access digital devices or an internet connection or do not have the right skills to do things online. This makes it harder to stay in touch with family and friends, get the best deals, save money and access information and advice or progress with education or work. Tackling digital exclusion is about creating a fairer Stockport where everyone has equal opportunity, and no one is left behind.

The DigiKnow Alliance was launched in 2018 by Stockport Council, Stockport Homes, The Prevention Alliance, Starting Point Community Learning Partnership, and Good Things Foundation. We recognised from the outset that those who are digitally excluded are often also socially excluded, so we provide digital support in community settings that are already trusted by the residents they support.
The DigiKnow Alliance has already achieved some great successes:

  • Growth in membership from 5 to 67 organisations
  • Around 47,000 local people supported to get online or improve their digital confidence and skills
  • DigiKnow Helpline, initially for people needing support during the lockdowns, has now managed over 16,000 calls and messages
  • DigiKnow Device Lending Library with free data from the Good Things Foundation national databank has loaned more than 10,000 devices to date
  • 348 Digital Champions and DigiKnow Friends recruited and trained to provide digital support
  • Device recycling and refurbishment scheme has received more than 4,000 donations to date, providing low-cost computers to the community whilst also reducing the amount of e-waste going to landfill

Councillor Jilly Julian, Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources, says: “Digital exclusion can have a profound impact on the quality of our lives, such as missing out on health advice or opportunities for improved earning potential. It can also impact mental health and confidence and increase feelings of loneliness and isolation for someone who does not understand how to use technology to communicate with friends and family members.

“We want Stockport to be a place that maximises the opportunities of the digital era for all of its communities and where everyone is digitally included. Thanks to our DigiKnow network of libraries, community groups, and volunteer Digital Champions, over 47,000 more residents can now use digital to stay connected and make the most of online information and services. If you or someone you know need help using the internet, there’s a DigiKnow support session near you.”

For a complete list of DigiKnow support sessions, see our Events calendar, drop in at your local library or call the DigiKnow Helpline on 07724 217888. For more information, see our DigiKnow web pages.

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