UK online centres / Online Centres Foundation Annual Review

Tinder Foundation


Jim Knight,
Chairman, Tinder Foundation

I’m privileged to have been able to chair Tinder Foundation for another extremely successful year. It has been great to see the organisation go so far, find an exciting new direction and really grow the energetic, entrepreneurial culture that inspires me and my fellow board members so much. The future for Tinder Foundation certainly looks positive, and I’m looking forward to continuing to support the organisation through another exciting year.

Helen Milner,
Chief Executive, Tinder Foundation

The last year has been an incredibly significant one for us as an organisation – with a new name, new priorities, new partners and new projects to get our teeth into.

It was all change in July 2013, when Online Centres Foundation became Tinder Foundation, in a move that reflected our continuing diversification, and our commitment to doing much more to make good things happen through digital technology. The new name and new strategy were launched at an exciting event held at the House of Lords, with a number of stakeholders, community partners and learners coming together to celebrate a new chapter for Tinder Foundation.

The organisation’s new strategy, launched at the same time, set out the key priorities and areas of work for the three years ahead – supporting people to improve their digital skills, helping community organisations to achieve more with digital, encouraging broader learning through the use of digital tools and supporting organisations as they introduce their digital strategies.

In September 2013, we were delighted to learn we’d been successful in our bid to work with NHS England on the Widening Digital Participation programme, which aims to reduce digital inequalities and ensure everyone can access the health information they need online. The programme felt like a really natural fit for both us and the community partners within the UK online centres network, as there are so many synergies between people experiencing health inequalities and people who are digitally excluded. You can read more about this programme later in the review.

And in the spirit of winning contracts, we were also delighted to hear that we’d won our consortium bid with the British Council and BBC as part of the Department for Communities and Local Government’s English Language Competition, to develop our English My Way programme to support people with their English language learning.

I’ve also been really excited to see how far the Learn My Way website has grown over the last year, as we’ve taken feedback from our network on board to ensure the website works for learners. Learning content has now expanded beyond just digital skills training, with courses around money management and employability, as well as links to maths and English resources and other fantastic learning content across the web.

The past year has really seen us grow, develop in new directions and build our relationship with the local organisations who are so vital to what we do. Over the past year, we - and the UK online centres network - have continued to support some of the hardest to reach people in society, with 82% of learners coming through the network meeting one or more indicators of social exclusion. The ability of centres within the network to help those that can’t be reached by other means continues to be vital to supporting so many of those most in need. And although I say this every year, I think the year ahead is going to be even more significant. While digital inclusion will always be at our heart, we are continuing to diversify, growing our work in adult learning and supporting the centres in our network to have a greater impact in their communities, not just by supporting digital inclusion activity but in many other ways.

We couldn’t do any of this without you, so thank you all!