Old News

7 July 2022

We’ve been nominated for two chances to win £1,000 this year, you can nominate us too to increase our chances of winning and help more people, here

23 June 2022

After a number of months with reduced capacity, where only our Learning Centre and a weekly drop-in at Brown’s Field have been running, we are hoping to start running sessions at Abbey Hub shortly again, please contact us or the Hub if you are interested in sessions. We also hope to start sessions at The Meadows again  before the end of the year, as well as some new locations. If you are interested in getting involved and would to help, we’d love to hear from you.

24 February 2022

We’re still hiring a Digital Inclusion Worker to help provide digital skills, devices and access to all, and we’re happy to announce we’ve increased our rate of pay and are happy to discuss flexible hours that could fit inside school hours! You can find out more and apply here on Indeed or send us your CV along with a covering letter explaining why you are a good fit for the role to james@cambridgeonline.org.uk

8 December 2021

Cambridge Online is incredibly sad to report that our lovely Digital Inclusion Development Worker, Hugh, passed away far too young, after a short and very aggressive attack of cancer on Monday 6th December. Our CEO has written a short tribute to him here and we’ve opened up a virtual book of remembrance for people to share their comments shortly. Those we’ve already received from emails and messages, we have been putting up on our Twitter feed on @CambridgeOnline

26 October 2021

We’re recruiting! We’re on the look out for a great part-time team member to help with digital inclusion outreach at community venues around Cambridge, deliver training and more. You can see details and apply at Indeed or email us your CV to james@cambridgeonline.org.uk with a personal statement.

24 September 2021

We are delighted to announce that we are down to the final 10 grassroots organisations for a national prize recognising our contribution to narrowing the digital divide during lockdown. At the time of shortlisting, so far we have helped around 700 households get or stay online, 500 of them with a digital device (or more than one for some families) and/or data. The award now goes to a public vote to narrow the shortlist down to 3 finalists and the winner will be announced in November at the Shard. We need people to vote for us and to get the word out – vote here https://digileaders100.com/craig-macdonald or you can use the shortlink bit.ly/VoteCOLC to give to other people. VOTING NOW CLOSED

12 July 2021

Trustees are very pleased to announce that James Lewis has been appointed CEO of Cambridge Online.  James has worked in the charity and statutory sectors for around 22 years, including jobs in social services, probation, housing and education.  He is a strong advocate and familiar voice in the Digital Inclusion arena. 

Andrew Baird, Chair of Trustees, said: “We are delighted that James will be our new CEO.  There was a very strong field of candidates for the job and it was a very tough process for the recruitment panel.  We look forward to working with James as Cambridge Online develops and expands over the coming years.”

James Lewis said: “I am honoured and excited to be appointed CEO and guide Cambridge Online into a new phase.  I am passionate about working to make people’s lives better, especially through Digital Inclusion which I see as a tool for greater equality and empowerment.  Digital Inclusion is a continually evolving landscape and the pandemic has shown the importance of it.  I am keen to ensure that Cambridge Online continues the great work it does to grow digital skills in the community, and look forward to working with its great team to do so.”

James officially starts his new role on 1st September when Andrew Entecott will be retiring, but you can already contact him here: james@cambridgeonline.org.uk  

Update – June 2021

We have started to re-open some one to one digital skills sessions for people who have no other internet access and who need urgent help to get online. These sessions are very limited, and by appointment only. We are currently taking bookings for Meadows Community Centre, Browns Field Community Centre, The Hub – Abbey. Contact details below.

Coronavirus Update – 24 March 2020 (updated 23 July 2020)

Following the latest advice from Government and NHS, all Cambridge Online face-to-face services are now closed.  This includes activity at our main learning centre (Hester Adrian) and all outreach locations.  We have done this very reluctantly, but feel we have no alternative given the latest advice and our duty of care to service users, volunteers, and staff.

For digital skills help and advice, new and existing customers can call us on 01223 300407 (please leave a message and we will call you back) or Email us on help@cambridgeonline.org.uk – We have a team of Digital Champions ready to respond.

Finance update (posted 10 May 2018)

We ended the financial year (31 March 2018) with a small deficit, which is disappointing after the success of the previous couple of years.  We have lost some central government funding, and some promised donations did not arrive.  We have successfully bid for grants and fees totalling £40,000 for this coming year, but to maintain services we will need to raise an additional £20,000.  Our main target for this new income is through business sponsorship and personal donations, without which we will not survive.  Our donations page.

Cambridge MicroHub update (posted 10 May 2018)

For the third year running we have been awarded a grant by Cambridge City Council to continue leading the Cambridge MicroHub project.  This is the the development of a pilot which sees us working alongside other groups to deliver new services including digital inclusion clubs at different locations around the City.  We have setup and run eight digital inclusion clubs so far, and we are looking for new partners and locations in the coming year.  This work is particularly aimed at bringing together information, training and advice groups to improve their digital ‘offer’ to beneficiaries.  The project is in addition to our core work at Hester Adrian Centre, our main learning centre, which is also part grant funded by Cambridge City Council, Community Grants.

Another Successful Financial Year (posted 21 March 2017 – updated 13 April 2017)

As we approach the end of the financial year, it looks like we will once again go into the next with a small surplus.  This is fantastic news, and thanks to our funding appeal in January 2017 which raised an amazing £14,000 in a few weeks.  (The total raised, including promises, now stands at £21,000, as at 31 March 2017.) We are also delighted to announce that our funding looks really good for the next twelve months with grants, fees and promised donations already covering most of our costs.  We will, of course, still need to fund raise, but we are in an even better position than we were this time last year.  Against the odds, we have proved our value and sustainability, and we look forward to what the next year will bring. With a sound financial basis, we are looking to expand our service and develop what we do best – improving digital skills for all!

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.