Digital Inclusion


What is Digital Inclusion?

Digital inclusion ensures that all people have access to the technology and skills they need to get online. It also means they have the capability to use this to benefit them in their everyday lives.

In the UK, around 9 million people are unable to use the Internet and their devices by themselves and around 11.7 million people don’t have the digital skills necessary for everyday life. (Lloyds Digital Consumer Index, 2020)

When people are digitally excluded, they have less access to employment and education opportunities and greater financial insecurity. It may also mean they cannot access local and national services and third sector support. This can lead to social isolation, loneliness and even poorer health outcomes.

Check out this video from GoodCall explaining some of the basics around digital inclusion.

Who is digitally excluded in the UK?

Some people are more likely to be digitally excluded than others. The main groups who are digitally excluded in the UK include older people, people with disabilities, those living in remote or rural communities and those experiencing homelessness and unemployment. Families facing compounding factors of poverty and food insecurity are also affected.

Why is digital inclusion important for the third sector?

Digital inclusion should be a priority for the third sector to avoid the damaging impact of digital exclusion on vulnerable individuals accessing services online.  Many services now require individuals to have a device to access the internet and the correct skills to navigate them. Examples of this are keeping in touch with family and friends, accessing healthcare, financial transactions, housing, employment support and shopping.

Many third sector organisations are now providing services online and digitally. People within these already vulnerable and excluded groups are the potential users of services provided by the third sector. However, many people will still need additional support to access them, and it is crucial to understand their unique needs and challenges.

When we understand the benefits that technology and digital skills can provide for all, we can connect with beneficiaries, supporters and volunteers in more meaningful and creative ways. From trustees to volunteers, everyone plays a vital role in helping the third sector make the most of technology. When we make digital inclusion a priority, we ensure that everyone has the right technology and skills they need to thrive.

What does digital inclusion mean to GoodCall?

Digital inclusion is important to us at GoodCall because we believe access to the right technology can positively impact individuals and communities. A digital inclusive third sector means vulnerable people are better able to participate in everyday life. Elaine Gray, Charity Engagement Manager, says:

“I think shining a light on digital inclusion is vital to building more resilient communities. The coronavirus pandemic has exposed the digital divide in the UK, and I think the way charities have rapidly adapted to this new environment has been so inspiring – I am really passionate about tech for good, and I’m so glad it’s at the core of our work.”

Digital Inclusion Resources


We want to hear from you

We are always on the lookout for inspiration, and we welcome suggestions of resources you would find useful. We will include your suggestions to help organisations build their digital capacity. We would love to share the impact that adopting new technology has had on your organisation as part of our charity spotlight campaign.

If you are a charity or social enterprise working with digital, we would love to hear from you. We would love to add your project or resources to the Hub, so get in touch with the GoodCall team here.

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