In November 2015, Croydon Council and charity Doteveryone (formerly Go On UK) launched Go ON Croydon to help more people, especially the elderly, feel confident about going online to explore hobbies, make social connections and access local services. To do this, Go ON Croydon digital champion volunteers from the council, locally-based private companies and the borough’s charitable sector set up digital zones, where the public can access computers for free and get support with basic IT skills.

The project’s successes include:

  • Helping nearly 3,000 digital zone visitors to work on their computer skills
  • Establishing 26 digital zones, from the council’s Access Croydon to community centres, with over 15 new ones being set up
  • Setting up free wifi in Surrey Street for shoppers and market visitors
  • Organising drop-in sessions for council sheltered accommodation tenants using loaned IT equipment

Now over 500 recycled Croydon Council laptop and desktop computers will be donated by summer 2017 to local groups across the borough following an IT upgrade. The computers will go to a range of groups by next June, from churches to community centres.

CVA has also played a role in the Go-On Croydon partnership. We have supported and encouraged local voluntary sector groups to embrace digital by working in partnership with Superhighways and hosting a range of their free or low cost IT courses for voluntary sector groups, covering a range of topics from the more traditional use of Microsoft Office packages to the use of Mailchimp for eye catching newsletters.

We have also collaborated with Go-On partners to put together some important local event like "Twitter comes to Croydon" for the benefit of local charities.