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Nominet Nominet helps Compaid to narrow the digital divide in Kent

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Jan 28, 2006
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Funding from Nominet helps vulnerable people get online safely

The Nominet Members’ GiveHub is an opportunity for members to support an organisation of their choice and make a real difference to the wider community. In this new blog series, we shine a light on how the awarded funds are enabling life changing work.

To kick things off, we spoke to Diane Bradley at Compaid, an organisation which helps disabled, elderly and other vulnerable people to overcome the barriers of social and digital exclusion, and to live their lives to the full.

Greg Findley at Mantra, a Tonbridge-based design agency and Nominet member, nominated Compaid, which was awarded £10,000 this year to develop its digital training centre in Kent. With the funds, the organisation is now able to support over 200 disabled, elderly and digitally excluded people on a one-to-one basis to get online safely and enjoy the benefits of the digital world.

Diane explains: “Many of the people we support have low or no existing digital skills, so we take them from the first principles of setting up an email account and searching the internet. Sessions cover safety and security online and explore services such as managing benefits and payments, using social media to contact family and friends, and how to access news, information, and entertainment from reputable outlets.”

Championing digital skills and online safety

To fully participate in today’s society, people need digital skills. Employment and volunteering opportunities are more readily found online, and in many cases are only open to those who can prepare and submit electronic applications.

Diane says: “The digital divide has been widened following the Coronavirus pandemic, as many companies and public services have moved online. We’ve also seen a reduction in drop-in services, therefore vulnerable people of all ages without basic digital skills have been further isolated, unable to access online information and employment applications.”

One of Compaid’s priorities is to support young vulnerable people, as digital literacy is often a requirement for employment. Its sessions equip individuals with the necessary knowledge to apply for jobs, create CVs and use online job platforms.

Teaching online safety and security is also a core element of Compaid’s training sessions, as people with additional learning needs and disabilities can be among the most vulnerable in terms of online risks and behaviours.

The charity has also started to roll out programming and coding skills training for some of its younger clients. Diane explains: “They learn to control a robot by programming the computer. We can already see that this training is proving to be engaging and thought-provoking as well as giving clients a great sense of achievement.”

More about the Nominet Members’ GiveHub

A £50,000 fund is available every month and members can apply for funding up to £10,000 per financial year, which can be awarded to any UK-registered organisation for projects that align with our commitment to making the world more connected, inclusive and secure.

Greg Findley says that the process of applying for funding was quick and easy. “I reached out to Compaid’s fundraising team initially, to check they would be happy to be submitted. I then worked with Diane at Compaid to complete the GiveHub application questions. It was completed within a few weeks.”

The GiveHub panel, a group of up to seven volunteers from the membership who work with the Membership Engagement team, review applications monthly.

Greg encourages other Nominet members to get involved, saying: “Make a little time to research and apply because the funding available can make a huge difference for a local cause.”

To find out how you can get involved with the Members’ GiveHub and start making a difference, contact [email protected].

Next time, we’ll be hearing from PACT (Parents and Children Together), which the University of Reading nominated for funding.

The post Nominet helps Compaid to narrow the digital divide in Kent appeared first on Nominet.

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