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Go on – get online!

November 22, 2011

A campaign to end Liverpool’s digital divide gets underway on Monday, 24 October.

Liverpool City Council is backing ‘Go On it’s Liverpool’, which kicks off with a special conference from 9.30am – 12.00pm at CUC (Contemporary Urban Centre) on Greenland Street near the city centre.

In Liverpool, an estimated 100,000 people have never used the internet, and the aim is to get an extra 25,000 people in the city online by March 2012 – supported by 5,000 ‘digital champions’ across all sectors of the community.

Work is currently underway with a raft of employers across the city to encourage them to get computer literate staff to take part.

The initiative is also being backed by Unionlearn, the TUC scheme which encourages members to improve their skills; Race Online and UK Online.

Councillor Nick Small, Liverpool’s Cabinet member for employment, enterprise and skills, said:

I welcome this initiative to get more people online.

Being computer and internet literate gives people a huge advantage when competing for jobs and is vitally important.

Using the web is crucial to so many things in modern life and is only going to become more important in the future.

This is a great scheme which will harness the enthusiasm of those who are already web savvy and encourage them to give an hour of their time to help get others online.

Speaking at the event via digital link will be the government’s internet champion Martha Lane Fox; together with Riverside MP Louise Ellman, Liverpool’s Cabinet member for enterprise, skills and employment Councillor Nick Small; Kevin Mclean, Director of Technology for UK Online and Joe Fearnehough from unionlearn.

Councillor Laura Robertson-Collins said:

It’s all about helping people get online. We have about a quarter of the people in this city who aren’t able to access the internet at the moment – that’s about 100,000 in Liverpool alone. Those who can’t use the internet are getting further and further behind – it’s fantastic for keeping in touch with family and friends but there are more serious overtones in the fact that a lot of jobs are only available online now.

The aim is to get 25,000 people in Liverpool who are currently offline to be online by March. We’re also asking 5,000 people to register as digital champions and give an hour to help someone….

Unionlearn are deeply committed to the campaign to help people get online – union members, other workers and the wider community.

We believe this is an issue of social justice as people who do not have access to the internet are more likely to be poorer and socially excluded that those who are online.

The internet provides access to job opportunities, training and education, to cheaper goods and shopping, as well as connecting people to public services and to their families.

Unionlearn are supporting all trade unions to support members and other staff to learn the skills to use the internet, provide access to the internet via workplace learning centres, and to purchase low-cost refurbished computers if they want these for their own use.

Our network of union learning reps (ULRs) are working in the wider community to spread the message as well as in workplaces.

Union Learning Reps (ULRs) are ideally placed to become some of the 5000 ‘Digital Champions’ who can contribute enormously to Go On it’s Liverpool and make the campaign into a reality on the ground.

Cllr Robertson-Collins also talked about how the internet can benefit people in terms of getting cheaper goods and services online.

From the 24–28 October an awareness raising campaign will get underway, with the Adult Learning bus visiting supermarkets and Sure Start Children’s Centres across the city.



Highlights include:

24 October

  • Silver surfers (10am – 12 noon) at Granby and Toxteth Development Trust
  • The Adult Learning IT bus promoting Go ON it’s Liverpool at Tesco Allerton (all day)

25 October

  • Free IT drop in (10am – 12 noon) at Dovecot Library
  • Online basics (9.30 – 11.30am) course at Granby and Toxteth Development Trust
  • The Adult Learning IT bus will be promoting Go ON it’s Liverpool at Tesco Old Swan (all day)

26 October

  • Open Day (10am – 4pm) at Speke Training and Education Centre
  • Silver Surfers (1pm – 3pm) at Granby and Toxteth Development Trust
  • The Adult Learning IT bus will be promoting Go ON it’s liverpool at Tesco Deysbrook (all day)

27 October

  • Free drop-in with basic IT help (10am – 12 noon) at Breck Road Library
  • Free IT drop in (10am -12 noon) at Dovecot Library
  • The Adult Learning IT bus will be promoting Go ON it’s liverpool at Dingle Lane community centre (all day)

28 October

  • Free IT taster (10am – 12 noon) at Old Swan Library
  • Online basics (1pm – 3pm) course at Speke Training and Education Centre
  • Online basics (1pm -3pm) course at Granby and Toxteth Development Trust
  • The Adult Learning IT bus will be promoting Go ON it’s liverpool at Norris Green Library (am)
  • The Adult Learning IT bus will be promoting Go ON it’s liverpool at Asda Walton

On the weekend of 29 and 30 October, Liverpool will be participating in the national BBC-backed Give An Hour campaign, which is encouraging people to give time to teach people about the internet. At Liverpool ONE, the arts bus and the Adult Learning bus from Notre Dame Catholic College will be used to encourage people to sign up, and there wlll be IT taster sessions.

On 31 October, Unionlearn will be holding a promotional day to recruit digital champions and raise awareness of Go ON it’s liverpool in the concourse of Lime Street Station (9am – 5pm)

From 31 October – 4 November, the Google juice bar will be supporting Go ON it’s Liverpool and 200 small enterprises and start-ups will receive support from Google experts over the week.


Martha Lane Fox, who leads the national Race Online campaign to encourage people to use the world wide web, will be in Liverpool on 1 November to personally launch “Go On it’s Liverpool” at Liverpool Innovation Park. She will also travel to FACT for a debate on how “inspiring creative content” can encourage people online.

Ms Lane Fox will also visit the city on 16 November for Global Women’s Enterprise Day – raising opportunities for women to be enterprising and improve their prospects through the web

She said:

It’s great to be taking part in the discussion on how the cultural and creative community could encourage the 100,000 Liverpudlians who have never been online to take their first steps, by introducing them to inspirational digital content through the Give an Hour campaign.

Ms Lane Fox is best known for co-founding in 1998. Today she is a non-executive director of Marks & Spencer and Channel

For more information, and to sign up as a digital champion, visit

For a full list of events as part of the campaign visit:

You can also find the campaign on by searching for Go On It’s Liverpool

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