As a founding partner of Go ON UK the Post Office is offering a free service where counter staff print out the nearest internet access points to customers’ homes.
With 99.7 per cent of people living within three miles of a Post Office, and 93.1 per cent living within one mile of their local outlet, The ‘Get Connected’ campaign sees the Post Office, Online Centre Foundation and partners bring together the information about internet courses across the UK into a single database. The system can then be used by the Post Office to input a customer’s postcode and locate the five nearest free or low cost internet access and training points.
“Our ‘Get Connected’ campaign, part of our commitment to charity Go ON UK, is an exciting development where people who don’t have access to the internet will be able to find a facility to get online. It is a real disadvantage being excluded from the better deals and offers only available online. There are also social exclusion aspects such as keeping in touch with friends and family to help combat loneliness and isolation. We are well placed to take on this role, serving around 20 million customers a week,” commented Post Office chief executive Paula Vennells.
The internet access points on the database of over 5,000 online centres range from libraries to business centres providing either training or access. The database is managed by the Online Centres Foundation, other partners contributing to the database include the Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC), Welsh Government’s Communities 2.0 digital inclusion programme, Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), Libraries NI and Go ON NI.
Go ON UK CEO Graham Walker added: “At the heart of our communities, the Post Office is ideally placed to signpost the 16 million people without Basic Online Skills to get the help they need as close to home as possible. ‘Get Connected’ makes that easier to find. This is a big step forward for the Go ON UK Digital Skills Alliance and its mission to make the UK the world's most digitally skilled nation.”