Emma Solomon, Managing Director of Digital Unite and Founder of Silver Surfers’ Day, was officially given her OBE on Friday 25 January by HRH Prince Charles.

Emma had been named in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours List in June 2012 and awarded an OBE for services to digital inclusion.

An exciting new opportunity is available to become a Fundraising Intern for the Digital Unite Trust.

The Digital Unite Trust was established in autumn 2011 to help make digital skills available to everyone and to support the work of Digital Unite Limited. This new role will support the work of the Trust through researching, identifying and pursuing fundraising opportunities and would suit someone who is looking to gain valuable and broad experience in charity management and business development.

Digital Unite’s online courses make people feel like they are Digital Champions and give them new ideas and techniques for helping people to get online and stay online, according to a survey among those who had completed the Quick Start course and/or the Digital Champion ITQ.

In our final e-newsletter of 2012 we're talking about our Christmas guides, some most interesting research we recently carried out, Digital Heroes and the last chance to win a Kindle Fire. Why not make it your resolution for 2013 to register your email address so you can receive a copy straight to your inbox?

Enlisting, engaging and training volunteers is one of the main areas organisations and individuals would like funding for so they can continue to help older people to use computers and the internet.

A group of social housing residents aged between 74 and 88 years from Affinity Sutton, one of the largest housing providers in England, were recently helped by Digital Unite to take their first steps to getting online and for some it had a life-changing effect.

We've recently teamed up with myageingparent.com to create an advice guide on how to support older people to get online.

Based on our 16 years of experience in this area our advice is simple:

1) Understand why and how they want to learn

2) Help with the technical set-up

3) Find out what interests them

4) Help them overcome their fears

In this month's newsletter we're talking about Esther Rantzen at our Spring Online Best Event Awards, online polls, linking our guides to other websites and a quick quiz to test your digital savviness. It's well worth a read and so easy to subscribe to - just register your email address via our home page.

With less than 80 sleeps to Christmas (yes, we know) many people’s thoughts turn to shopping but how do you do yours? Well according to our online community nearly 9 out 10 (88%) shop online. Unsurprising perhaps, considering many of our members are engaged and active website users.

More interesting, is the fact that nearly 1 in 10 (9%) doesn’t know how to shop online and just a very few (3%) prefer to choose in person.

Halton Housing win Spring Online Best Event 2012On Thursday 27 September 2012 six local organisations from across the UK received awards from Esther Rantzen CBE in recognition of their successful Spring Online events held in April which helped others learn about computers and the internet.

The six winning organisations were:

In September's e-newsletter we're talking about this year's special guest at our Spring Online Best Event Awards 2012, learner feedback on our online courses, national campaigns Get Online Week and Older Person's Day and how we've got a guide for every occasion.

You can take a look here, or why not register to receive our newsletter straight to your in-box every month. It's a right good read!

Being able to use the internet does make us feel more connected and less lonely according to a whopping 91% of our online community members who took part in our latest poll, with 7% disagreeing and 2% being unsure.

This result definitely concurs with some of Digital Unite’s other research which we carried out last year among those over 55s who had been using the internet for five years or less. Nearly two thirds (63%) of those we asked said being online can help to reduce feelings of loneliness and nearly three-quarters (72%) thought it can help reduce feelings of isolation.

The results are in of our first exclusive poll among the members of our online community and over half (52%) say that a computer is their most life-changing technological purchase, ahead of smartphones (34%) and iPads (14%).

Our latest e-newsletter is out today and this month we're talking about our digital camera competition, inspiring digital stories, guides galore, our forthcoming Social Housing Digifest, Age UK's iTea and Biscuits, and TalkTalk's Digital Heroes awards, phew...!

Read more here.

copyright: Christina Burnett...how a Get Online Week grant opened the gateway to computers and the internet for visually impaired people in Lambeth

In October 2010 Digital Unite worked with UK online centres to run a small grants scheme as part of Get Online Week. Those individuals and organisations that ran events during that week were eligible for grants of up to £1,000 to help with their digital inclusion activities.

The rollout of superfast broadband across the UK will see around 90% of the population benefitting from better and more reliable internet access by 2015. But as Digital Unite has long maintained, good connectivity is all well and good but what’s the point if many people don’t have the necessary skills and knowledge to use it.

The team at Digital Unite was pleased to be part of the CHS Housing and Support Congress which took place between 12-13 July.

Here one of our team, Chris Mahoney, Digital Champion ITQ Tutor/Assessor talks about his experience there:

In our July e-newsletter we're talking about our new learning guides, computers for carers, our Spring Online Best Event shortlist and the chance to win a digital camera. Read more here. If you would like to get all of our latest news straight to your inbox each month, just register via the newsletter sign-up box on our home page.

Six organisations have been shortlisted for the Spring Online 2012 Best Event competition.