A Two Minute Guide to Cambridge OnLine

Computer Access for All

Computer training and information
Accessibility, assessments and advice
Community Internet Access Points
Digital Champion training

Cambridge Online is an established volunteer based educational charity.  We provide people with access to computers and the Internet, as well as specialist training and advice.  We welcome anybody who will benefit from our service, especially disabled, disadvantaged and older people.


Learning Centre at Hester Adrian – helps anybody to use computers and access the Internet.  One to one support, individual learning plans.  Specialises in helping disabled and disadvantaged people who may need additional help and encouragement – open to all.  Member of UK online centres Specialist Disability Network.  Part grant funded by Cambridge City Council and Tinder Foundation.

Digital Champion Recruitment Project – Providing training and support for new volunteers to provide one to one support for our learners.  We currently have 30 people signed up as mentors and tutors, with around 40% of them living with a disability.  As a volunteer based organisation, we rely heavily on volunteers, especially as Digital Champions.  Part grant funded by Cambridge City Council.

Mobile UK online centre – taking computers, tutors and internet tasters to where people are, including supported and sheltered housing in Cambridge.

Digital Inclusion Clubs – Setting up and running new clubs in Arbury, Abbey, East Chesterton & Kings Hedges.  New grant funding from Cambridge City Council as part of their Anti Poverty Strategy.

Meadows Community Centre Tutorials – a service in partnership with Cambridge City Council providing tutorial and drop in sessions twice a week.  Fee funded Cambridge City Council.

Coleridge Computer Club – Following an outreach event last year, we identified a number of people who were keen to attend computer lessons in Coleridge.  We successfully applied for funding to run 20 sessions which are now taking place at St Thomas’s Hall in Coleridge. New one off grant funding from Cambridge City Council Area Committee.

Hanover / Princess Court Tutorials – outreach tutorials for City Council tenants and leaseholders.  Second round of sessions due to start.  Fee funded by Cambridge City Council.

Switch User Group – On Wednesday mornings we run a Switch User Group at Hester Adrian which is open to people with restricted mobility who are able to access computers using switch and touch screen equipment.  Five people attend regularly, and they each pay a subsidised fee of £100 per quarter.

Net2Camb  Each month we host the evening meeting of Net2Camb, with Social Media Surgeries every other month.  The Social Media Surgeries have become so popular that we are now holding them monthly.

Digital Health Information Network – Ongoing responsibility for promoting the NHS website to customers.  Grant funded by Tinder Foundation

Websitefull of local information, training links, and links to hundreds of local and regional websites [ www.colc.co.uk ] Our organisation website at www.cambridgeonline.org.uk has now been updated.

Free computer accessat 8 Cambridge Online community internet access points hosted by other organisations in Cambridge.

You Can Do It Online!  –  Advice, Training and Support to help people navigate the “digital gateway” – This was part of a joint pilot project run by Cambridge Ethnic Community Forum, Disability Cambridgeshire & Cambridge Online, and funded by Cambridge City Council who provided funds for us to continue our part of the project alone for the second half of 2014/15.  We successfully applied for this additional aspect of our work in our main grant application for 2015/16, and will do so again for 2016/17.

Cambridge Online is an incorporated charity supported by fees, grants and donations.  It is managed by a voluntary board of trustees.  We are moving towards a social enterprise model, and have set up a new company “Cambridge Online Trading Limited”.

4000 one to one tutorials per year
300 new learners per year
30 volunteer tutors: 40% living with a disability
2 permanent staff + part time session staff
£70,000 annual running costs
Charity number 1097218 (2003)
Company number 3619629 (1998)
Cambridge Online Trading Limited company number 07788683 (2012)

We rely on a mix of grants, donations and fees.  In 2010 grants paid for 90% of our costs.  In 2013 grants paid for 43% of our costs (which we had reduced by 16%).  In 2014 grants paid for 38% of our costs.  We get some funding from local and central government, from foundation trusts and from personal donations.

Accessibility Champion for the East of England (ICT Hub)
Innovation In The Community Award 2008 (TalkTalk)
Winner – Community Awards 2009, Special Needs Category (Cambridge News)
Awarded Membership of Tinder Foundation’s Disability Network for demonstrating commitment to supporting the digital inclusion of those who will benefit from specialist support (2015)

Click on these links to find out more about our Personnel and Volunteers and on this link to find out about Accessibility.

Click here for our Photo Gallery.