Bids invited for £250,000 in digital inclusion funding

Projects that can ensure the elderly are not excluded from volunteering opportunities promoted online are among those the government is looking to fund.

Joe Lepper | 13th Nov 18
Image of elderly hands a keyboard representing digital inclusion for old people

Charities that can promote digital inclusion among older people who are considering volunteering are being invited to bid for £250,000 in government funding.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is looking to use the money to fund  up to five pilot projects that are able to develop and share new approaches to encouraging volunteering among the elderly.

The funding is being handed out by the charity Centre for Ageing Better, which last month published a review into community contributions in later life. This highlighted the need to ensure older people are not excluded from online volunteering opportunities.

“Digital processes were also perceived to create increasing barriers to the involvement of those people in later life who are not online – with more volunteering opportunities only ‘discoverable’ online, many organisations using online application processes, and some requiring volunteers to undertake online training,” states the review.

Bridging the digital divide is essential

A Centre for Ageing Better spokesman added: “One of the main findings of the review was that bridging the digital divide is essential, so projects which do this could be funded.”

The deadline for applications is midday, Monday 10 December. The funding will be awarded in March 2019 and is expected to be spent over the following 12 months.

Dan Jones, Director of Innovation and Change at the Centre for Ageing Better said: “We know that changes such as the onset of ill-health or the need to care for a loved one can mean we can’t keep volunteering and contributing to our communities in the way we used to. This can cause us to lose an important source of meaning and wellbeing and lose connections to our communities.

“By inviting experienced charities and voluntary organisations to pilot innovative ways of supporting people to get and stay involved, we can help share the good practice that exists in some parts of the country and make sure that no-one is locked out of contributing to their communities.”