Digital Housing Hub - #digihousing

where social housing providers meet to help their residents embrace the web

Thats the title of the paper Martha Lane-Fox wrote in July 2010 when she started RaceOnline2012 with great ideas and a huge target of 10.5 million people needing to learn new skills to become “digitally included”.

The then, and current Prime Minister, David Cameron gave before the paper was written,  the following statement;

“We need to encourage more people to go online and hence be able to access public information and services. In addition to the many benefits to people themselves – including making connections with other people, consumer savings, increased employability, and access to public services – this will also help us to drive down the cost of delivering public services.”

We are nearly 6 years on and with recent studies showing that number has increased from 10.5 million to 12.6 million, all be it because the skills criteria level has changed, this number is still not acceptable which ever way you look at it.
Being digitally included is not just about having the skills to use a computer, its having access to one on a permanent or regular basis and with internet access, and for me too knowing there is support should they need it, so its time for change!

We have quite rightly included financial inclusion as part of the digital objective but how can people truly benefit from this if they are not online?

The savings have varied from £560 per household to a more recent figure of £744 with some numbers being banded around of nearly £3000 per year by being a smarter online consumer

Whatever the amount of people “offline” actually is, unless all parts are put together we won’t reduce this number and people won’t become true Digital Citizens

The UKOnline Centres have helped 1.8million people learn basic skills since 2010, but how many went on to get the hardware or internet access and become digitally included?

There is a mass of crossover in effort, resource, funding from Government, charity and private sector and yet we still don’t have a central resource point where approved/accredited  national providers are in one place.

The previous digital skills site is now GoON Local and is hugely skills biased and again very regional which is good for skills but not for hardware and access which helps complete the digital inclusion journey

Everyone has the same objective lets make this a more cohesive journey without all these replicated silos up and down the UK

We at happus, point people to skills providers daily, and thats the UKOnline Centres, libraries, charities, banks and Housing providers where we know there is provision for skills, we need to complete this with those referrals going back to hardware and access providers that understand this sector

Am i banging the happus drum? of course I am why wouldn’t I?

I have been a part of this since RaceOnline2012,  back in 2010, and I have shipped in excess of 100,000 PC’s, we have helped sign up 1000’s of people to broadband and I want to do more, so we can give more back, but more importantly get the 1 in 6 people in the UK truly online

I want to make a difference, I want us to be more joined up with the journey, I want us to not have to discuss digital inclusion because it means we have delivered as a collective and everyone in the UK is a Digital Citizen and part of our social online world

Talk to us, we want to help!

call – 03300 103300

mail –

Twitter – @happus_eu

Dave Williams



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