News

WANTED: DONORS TO SUPPORT DIGITAL INCLUSION WORK (posted 12 January 2017, updated 16 February 2017)

Cambridge Online urgently needs fresh funding to remain afloat this year.

The established volunteer-based Cambridge charity, which is committed to increasing digital inclusion, is urgently seeking £20,000 in business and personal donations in order to stay open.  After launching this appeal only last month, we are pleased to say that just over £13,000 has already been raised.

Follow this link to make a donation via Just Giving or see the donations page for other methods.

Cambridge Online provides training on personal computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones. It has a wide range of accessible hardware and software for people to try. It specialises in helping disabled and disadvantaged people, but the services are open to all. Activities are coordinated from its hub at Hester Adrian Centre, in Hawthorn Way, Chesterton, Cambridge, CB4 1AX.

Andrew Entecott, Chief Executive, said: “Our funding drive is to seek the money that we need to continue operating and support our activities in the immediate future.

“Thirty Digital Champions deliver 4,000 one-to-one tutorials each year and 300 new learners will contact the charity in 2017 to gain basic online skills in Cambridge. Forty per cent of the organisation’s Digital Champions are living with a disability helping to get other people online.”

Cambridge Online is already supported by: Cambridge City Council, Good Things Foundation, TTP Group, Dosoco Foundation and personal donors, and its services are provided at low cost or free. But the income received so far this year is not enough to cover all running costs, with an immediate call for £20,000 new income in order to prevent closure.  A corporate donation of £4,000 will support 200 teaching sessions.  A personal donation of £200 provides running costs for one day, while £20 funds one teaching session.

Andrew Entecott, Chief Executive, said: “Cambridge Online provides a range of courses to help people make the most of being online. We support people to gain the skills to search and apply for jobs, shop online, use Facebook and socialise online, contact government and health services, leisure and healthy living. In fact, we will try to help people learn anything they want to do online!”

If people are able to make a contribution or have any other ideas, they can contact Andrew Entecott at Cambridge Online on 01223 300407 or email him at andrew@cambridgeonline.org.uk

A Successful Financial Year (posted 13 October 2016)

For the first time in several years we ended the last financial year (March 2016) without a deficit.  This is a massive achievement, especially as we started the year with a deficit meaning we had to raise more than our annual running costs in order to end the year in credit.  We are grateful to our staff and supporters who work tirelessly to raise funds for what we believe is an incredibly worthwhile, successful and developing digital inclusion charity – helping those most at risk of digital exclusion.  We are grateful to the organisations and individuals who fund our work through grants and donations – especially Cambridge City Council who have  supported us through some very hard financial times.

For this financial year our aim is to raise £20k through grants, £20k through fees and personal donations, and £20k through business sponsorship.  We have already met our grant target and we are well on the way to our fees & personal donations target.  But we are finding it harder and harder to attract business sponsorship, with a current shortfall of £17k.  The businesses who come and see our work first hand are always impressed by what we do, and nearly always offer financial support.  But the reality is, we find it hard to get to the right people in the business community to tell them about what we do and ask them for help.  If you can help in any way – either with a donation from your business, or by giving us the name of a business person to contact, please please get in touch.

andrew@cambridgeonline.org.uk  01223 300407

Making music using computers and tablets (posted 6 July 2016)

We are very pleased to announce the launch of a new pilot project  which will explore how disabled people can make music using computers and tablets. This work has been kindly funded by The Dosoco Foundation with match funding from a personal donor.

We already have a range of switch and touch screen equipment, but we need to research how to use them to make music.  We have a small group of learners who are keen to work with us as we explore the options and try things out together.We will include people with restricted mobility and people with a learning disability.

The grant and donation will cover staff costs for the pilot.  We will dedicate some staff time to researching the idea and to see what is available.  We will then run a couple of sessions a week, exploring and making music together with learners.  These would be “hands on” sessions finding out what works well for different people with different levels of ability.

By the end of this work we will know how to make computer and tablet music making more accessible for disabled people, and we will be able to offer ongoing sessions for people attending our service.

Akeman Street Outreach In Action – Video

Following on from our Profile Video, Karen has produced a short video showcasing our outreach work at Cambridge City Council’s Akeman Street Community Room.

You can see the Akeman Street Video here on Facebook

Or here on YouTube

New Profile Video

We have a new profile video which has been made for us by Karen Cann, our Outreach Coordinator.  Karen has her own business Karen Cann Video – which we highly recommend!

Go here to see our new Profile Video on Facebook

Or see it here on YouTube

Wednesdays at Hester Adrian Centre

Our main learning centre is currently open for appointments only on Wednesdays.  On Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays the centre is open for both appointments and drop ins.  Drop in sessions are available on a first come, first served basis – and we may not always have space at busy times.

Be Online 2016 – Outreach Project Launched

People across the UK are being challenged to get online this February, and find out how the internet can change their lives, as part of the national Be Online campaign.  So we thought this would be a good time to launch our Outreach Project and tell you about the FREE drop-in sessions we run across Cambridge City:

82 Akeman Street, CB4 3HG
Thursdays 10:00 – 12:00 (Currently full – phone to book)

Meadows Community Centre, 1 St Catharine’s Road, CB4 3XJ
Tuesdays and Fridays 10:00 – 12:00

Buchan Street Neighbourhood Centre, 6 Buchan Street, CB4 2XF
Wednesdays 10:00 – 11:00 (sessions now ended)

Browns Field Youth & Community Centre, 31A Green End Road, CB4 1RU
Wednesdays 12:00 – 13:00

Any questions?  Call us on 01223 300407.

Karen Cann joins our team as Outreach Coordinator. (posted 18 January 2016)

We are very pleased to announce that Karen Cann has joined our staff team and will be coordinating the expansion of our work to several new community locations where, with funding from Cambridge City Council, we are setting up Digital Inclusion “Clubs” for adults wanting to improve their digital skills.

We are looking for new community venues (posted 7 July 2015)

Thanks to a grant from Cambridge City Council we are looking for new community venues where we can run weekly Digital Inclusion “Clubs” for adults new to computers and the internet.  We have trained Digital Champions ready to lead each club – we just need some new friendly venues in different areas of Cambridge, especially Arbury, Abbey, East Chesterton and Kings Hedges.  If you have a suggestion, please email andrew@cambridgeonline.org.uk

See The Guardian for a story featuring the work of Cambridge Online (posted 30 June 2015)

The web can be liberating for disabled adults – but a lack of training, accessibility and funding means the online world is a step too far for many.  Follow this link to see the story.

Volunteers Needed

Please visit the WANTED – Digital Champions page to see our urgent call for new volunteers to join Cambridge Online.  Check out our Volunteers page too.

Get IT On :: Pass IT On (posted 5 March 2015)

Following the huge success of our Get IT On :: Pass IT On project over the last six months, we are pleased to say that Tinder Foundation has agreed to fund Cambridge Online to continue the project for twelve months from April 2015, engaging and supporting a further 67 people.  For details of the Get IT On :: Pass IT On project, see below.

FREE Hands On Computer Tablet Workshops – Specially for disabled young people and their parents (Updated 5 November 2014)

These workshop sessions started on 4th November and will run for five weeks – 4.30 to 6.30 pm), with more sessions taking place in a few months.  You can sign up for one, two, or as many sessions as you like.

Bringing together disabled young people (18-25) and their families who have tablet experience; those who have no experience; and facilitators with expertise in enabling, use of tablets, disability and accessibility.  We don’t have a set idea about how the sessions will run – we want the participants to have ideas and decide what to pursue.  We will help the people coming together to teach each other, to be creative, to be productive and to have fun with tablets.

For questions, further details or to book a place, please phone Andrew or Sue on 01223 300407 or email help@cambridgeonline.org.uk

Get IT On :: Pass IT On (26 March 2014)

Great News!  We have been awarded a grant from Tinder Foundation to run an ‘Ultra Specialist’ project from April 2014.  Get IT On :: Pass IT On is aimed at people living with a severe disability or multi-disabilities.  It is for people who need a higher level of support – including accessibility hardware & software and accessibility trained support workers – in order for them to become digitally included.  We also want to show them that they can pass on their new skills to other people.  We plan to run four ultra specialist sessions per week, engaging 50 people over six months.

If you want to take part, or want to refer somebody, please call 01223 300407 or email help@cambridgeonline.org.uk

Hands On Social Media – Workshops and Coaching (February 2014)

If you are getting muddled by social media and keen to put it to use in your organisation, then Cambridge Online’s new Social Media workshops could be for you. Ten Cambridge based third sector groups (nominated by Cambridge CVS and Cambridge City Council) will take part in two social media workshops and have further online coaching support.  Participants are expected to attend both workshops and also take part in the follow up coaching.

The workshops will be fully interactive and very practical with the theme of “How Social Media Can Help Your Organisation Achieve Its Aims”.   They will help you build your community; raise funds; and market your services.

Dates: 19th and 26th February 4.30 – 7.00pm
Venue: Cambridge Online Learning Centre, Hester Adrian Centre, Hawthorn Way, Cambridge, CB4 1AX
Facilitators: Mel Findlater (You Can Hub), Ellie Stoneley (Freelance) with Andrew Entecott (Cambridge Online)
Enquiries: Email help@cambridgeonline.org.uk or Call 01223 300407

This package of support will be useful for participants who have already attended a Net2Camb Social Media Surgery or the Cambridge CVS Social Media Masterclass – all held at Cambridge Online – but this is not a requirement.   Participants will know a bit about Facebook and Twitter, but will want some practical help making them work for their organisation.  The package has been made possible through a grant from Cambridge City Council Community Development and is free to participants.

Social Media Workshops & Coaching (February 2014)

Good News!  Word has just reached us that Cambridge City Council has agreed to fund us to run a small number of social media workshops with follow up coaching for participants.  We will shortly be announcing dates, and those taking part in the free sessions will be nominated by Cambridge CVS and Cambridge City Council.

Council for Disabled Children (November 2013)

Cambridge Online has been awarded funds by The Council for Disabled Children as part of their Innovation and Sustainability Programme. The programme is intended to support the development of capacity building across the voluntary and community sector as well as the implementation of the government’s proposed SEN and disability reforms, as outlined in the Children and Families Bill.

We plan to run hands-on computer tablet workshops for disabled young people and their families. We will bring together disabled young people and their families who have tablet experience; people who have no experience; and facilitators with expertise in enabling, use of tablets, disability and accessibility. We don’t have a set idea about how the workshops will develop – they will grow out of the first session – so what the participants decide to pursue will become the idea. We will help the people coming together to teach each other, to be creative, to be productive and to have fun.