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100,000 Digital Champions will help get unconnected Brits online

Learnfirect will be offering a course on digital mentoring

More than 100,000 Brits have agreed to volunteer as 'Digital Champions' in a bid to help show those currently not online the benefits of the web.

The Digital Champions scheme is just one of a number of initiatives put forward as part of the Race Online 2012 campaign, which was launched last year by UK Digital Champion and founder of lastminute.com Martha Lane Fox, in a bid to give the 9.2 million Brits that are currently offline net access before the end of the current parliament.

Lane-Fox said Digital Champions need to show unconnected Brits the joys of the web and stamp out the impressions that there's nothing on the web to benefit them.

"I'm not asking people to sit down and go through the complications of a presentation or train somebody in complex coding - I just want to enthuse people and inspire them and I think the rest will take care of itself," she told the BBC.

"For those people, it's a very simple task - they need to engage people with the joys of being on the internet," she said.

Age UK and BeatBullying along with BT and John Lewis are among the organisations that have agreed to take part in the 'Digital champions' project. Furthermore, e-learning organisation, Learndirect has revealed it's developing a course in conjunction with OCR/Cambridge Assessment that will cover both the digital skills expected of a Digital Champion and the support and advice skills which are required to motivate others to get online. The Digital Mentoring Unit will be available from Autumn this year.

The Race Online 2012 campaign also includes a project that's offering refurbished PCs for under £100 to help overcome the cost barrier that stops Brits getting online.

"Race Online aims to solve the critical social and economic issues that arise when people are left behind as technology advances," Lane-Fox added.

"By 2012, I'd like to think we'll come close to halving the 9million figure for people who had never used the internet when we started Race Online 2012."

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