‘Getting Oxfordshire Online’ Project partners are delighted to have received financial backing from .UK domain name registry Nominet, whose work as a public benefit company funds an ambitious social impact campaign tackling digital exclusion. 

The funding will enable Getting Oxfordshire Online to scale up its device pipeline and reach new beneficiaries across Oxfordshire, with the aim of providing upwards of 2,880 devices per year to support digitally excluded individuals of all ages.

Initiated by Oxfordshire Community Foundation, today Getting Oxfordshire Online is hosted by the charity and social enterprise Aspire Oxfordshire, with support from delivery partners SOFEA Didcot and Bicester Green.

Partners will also be empowered to continue developing relationships with other agencies that provide wraparound support to promote better internet access, such as affordable broadband connectivity and one-to-one training and guidance. 

Ben Tuppen, Getting Oxfordshire Online Project Manager, says: 

“This support from Nominet will mean Getting Oxfordshire Online can build on the system for centrally processing requests for devices and support, and develop consistent best practice to be shared across partner delivery hubs. Ultimately, we hope that this will mean Getting Oxfordshire Online will be in a position to extend into more hubs across the county and beyond Oxfordshire.” 

Paul Roberts, Aspire’s CEO, says:

“Digital exclusion is an under-acknowledged and unacceptable barrier to progress for too many people in Oxfordshire’s communities. Supporting the Getting Oxfordshire Online project to grow and flourish and help meet this need is an opportunity for Aspire and the other social enterprise partners involved to step up and help realise a more inclusive vision for our county.”

Based at the Oxford Science Park, Nominet’s backing and national expertise provides an exciting opportunity to replicate a model that works locally, as well as bringing national learning in for local benefit through projects such as Reboot, DevicesDotNow and Digital Access for All.

Chris Ashworth, Head of Social Impact at Nominet, says:  

"We're delighted to provide funding for the Getting Oxfordshire Online programme. We have been working closely with the partners since the outset, helping shape and define the approach to tackling digital exclusion in our County. Whilst we've been working across the UK on this issue for a number of years, digital poverty is often only truly addressed by tireless local collaboration. 

“The pandemic has taught us that in 2022, digital exclusion really means being locked out of essential services, reduced access to education, job opportunities and meaningful connection. We can't wait to continue the work so far and hope that we can share the success of the programme with other parts of the UK.