Online Centres Members' News
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Online Centres Network News
Thursday 2 April 2020


Hello <<First Name>>

As the coronavirus situation continues to develop in the UK, and with strict measures in place restricting people’s movements, it is more important now than ever to support our centres in the best way we can. We’ve been working on a couple of initiatives that I wanted to share with you that might be helpful to your centres. 

FutureDotNow, a partner of Good Things Foundation has launched an initiative DevicesDotNow to help individuals who don’t have access to the internet and are digitally excluded. The initiative aims to provide thousands of devices to help the most vulnerable individuals across the UK, enabling them to access information and support online during this challenging time. 

We’re currently piloting this scheme with 7 centres before we launch this across the wider network. In the meantime, to gauge interest, we’re asking centres to estimate how many devices they’d be able to distribute to digitally excluded and isolated people in their community, and tell us by completing the form. You can also find out more information on our website

Finally, we have been thinking about the different ways we can support your organisations and we are extremely pleased to let you know that several of our funding partners have come forward with offers of help in the form of employee volunteers. From the feedback we’ve received there are 3 main areas of expertise that our volunteers can offer you: 

- Helping you develop your own digital communications skills (for example, setting up and running webinars, zoom, google classrooms or hangouts, Microsoft Classrooms, Facetime and Skype). 

Helping you manage your business during this difficult time (for example, HR support-staff, planning and retention, help claiming government subsidy and/or bidding for emergency funds, and continuity and business planning). 

Helping you give remote one to one support to learners/clients (for example, using Facetime, Google Hangouts, Skype). We would only suggest that you access this if you are used to managing volunteers and would be happy putting people in touch with your learners that way.

We are still in the process of working out the finer details, but in the meantime, if this is something that you think would benefit your centre, please express your interest and we will be in touch as soon as we have more information. If you have any queries, please contact our Volunteer Manager directly at

Please do keep in touch and keep yourselves healthy and safe. 

Best wishes
Helen Milner and the Good Things Foundation team 

Complete the form
WEBINAR: Managing Coronavirus as an Online Centre

Thank you to everyone that has completed our
survey to find out how we can best support you and your centre during this difficult time. If you’ve not already filled this in, it takes only 5 minutes to complete and it will help us identify ways in which we can support you further. 

We’ve also recently created a
resource page on the Online Centres Network website to help your learners, staff and volunteers access relevant resources, funding and virtual support. We’re updating this daily to ensure you’ve got the latest support available. 

It’s great that so many centres have shared insight and resources on social media, do keep using
Twitter and if you’re not already part of the Online Centres Network Facebook Group, please join to share relevant information and chat to one another.

Learn My Way registration button temporarily removed

We appreciate in these challenging times, more and more support is being moved online and with the 11 million people in the nation who lack digital skills. We realise now more than ever it is important to gain access to as many resources as possible so these individuals can learn essential digital skills that will help them in their day to day lives and to keep in touch with their loved ones. 

From Friday 3 April, we’re temporarily removing the mandatory registration button, to help individuals gain access to our resources more easily. The registration button will still remain as an option on the page but will no longer be mandatory for using the Learn My Way courses. If you know a family member or a friend that would benefit from completing the Learn My Way courses, please share this information with them. 
Visit Learn My Way
How we're responding to the coronavirus crisis

Director of Digital Social Inclusion at Good Things Foundation,
Adam Micklethwaite shares how we’re responding to the coronavirus crisis and the support we’re providing to our network. Read now.

Coronavirus: responding to your insight

Over the last two weeks of our lives, communities and day to day patterns have all undergone unimaginable change as the threat and impact of coronavirus became increasingly real. We have all found ourselves having to move incredibly fast and adjust to new ways of working away from face to face digital inclusion and social support.

To be able to adjust our support and advocacy in line with what you knew and needed, we sent out an online survey to everyone in the Online Centres Network. We wanted to find out about the effect of Coronavirus on the communities and people you support, and what more we could do to help you. 

We are now actively developing our support plans in line with the insights you have shared with us, so from this week forward, on a weekly basis, we will be blogging on the Good Things Foundation website, through social media and on Medium about what you have told us. 

Our first weekly blog on Coronavirus: Network Response and Insights will be this Friday 3rd April - so please look out for it!

If you haven’t yet had the chance to share your experiences with us, or you’d like to update us on what you’re doing now, please do so.

You can complete the survey multiple times and all of your responses are incredibly valuable.
Find out more
ZOOM SESSIONS: Virtual meet up for Online Centres

At this particularly challenging time, we want to offer our centres the opportunity to be paired up with a member of the Good Things Foundation team, giving you the chance to build a relationship and gain support from your ‘buddy’. Our team members will contribute their time, connections and expertise to support your organisation, signposting you to helpful tools and resources, advising and listening to you, and where necessary seeking advice or information from colleagues on your behalf. If you’re interested in taking part, please complete the
expression of interest form by tomorrow, Friday 3 April. Don’t worry if you can’t complete this in time, we will hold your information on a reserve list. 

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