Sky partners with Age UK Gateshead to open first Flagship Sky Up Digital Hub in Tyne and Wear

Sky partners with Age UK Gateshead to open first Flagship Sky Up Digital Hub in Tyne and Wear

• The new Digital Hub will provide the community with access to digital devices, digital skills workshops and free Sky WiFi connection

• Age UK and Sky volunteers will run regular digital skills workshops to support over 65s who are digitally excluded

• Sky’s Digital Hubs roll-out sees up to £100,000 invested in each location, as part of its Sky Up fund to tackle digital exclusion

In partnership with Age UK Gateshead, Sky opened a new Digital Hub in Gateshead on Friday.

Opening the new Hub, local MP and Chair of Age UK Gateshead, Liz Twist MP and Ian Wolstenholme, CEO of Age UK Gateshead, welcomed the local community, while showcasing the digital services and newly renovated space.

The Hub which supports over 500 people in the local community, provides access to over 30 digital devices and offers a free Sky WiFi connection alongside regular digital skills workshops, run by volunteers. As part of the sessions, the volunteers train participants on various tasks, such as setting up emails, video calling, accessing online services including banking, online shopping, and learning about online safety.

One in five adults in Gateshead are over the age of 65. According to Age UK, 69% of people over the age of 75 and 30% of people aged between 65 to 74 are not able to complete eight of the most fundamental tasks required to use the internet safely and successfully. With 53% of over 65s being targeted by scams across the UK, support and training around digital literacy is crucial to help people avoid being victims of fraud.

Fiona Ball, Group Director, Bigger Picture & Sustainability said: “Sky is focused on helping people in Gateshead unlock new opportunities with tools, skills and programmes that we provide through our new Digital Hub. Tackling digital inequality is at the heart of our work with AgeUK, we are committed to empowering people to get online, learn new skills and fulfil their potential.”

Liz Twist MP, Chair of Age UK Gateshead said: “As we open the doors of the new Sky Up Age UK Gateshead Hub on the High Street, we celebrate the role it can play in supporting the local community. We are committed to ensuring that everyone, regardless of age or ability, feels welcome and empowered to go online with confidence. We want all local residents to be able to use the hub with its resources and support services, it will create the opportunities they deserve.”

Donna Taylor, Charity Director at Age UK Gateshead, said: “Age UK Gateshead is back on Gateshead high street and we cannot wait to welcome faces old and new to come and take part in our jam-packed schedule of activities. There’s so much to benefit from being on the high street. There’ll be a much higher rate of footfall passing our centre and on top of this our participants can benefit from the excellent transport links on offer, making it even easier to come and access our services. So make sure to tell your friends and your family to come along, chat to our team and see how they can get involved – we’re always on the lookout for volunteers too!”

In 2022, Sky launched its ambition to tackle digital inequality with a three-part initiative providing support to a quarter of a million digitally excluded people through a dedicated fund. The programme was created to ensure that groups who are most at risk of digital exclusion – under 25s in under-served communities and over 65s – are provided with the skills they need to succeed. Sky Up aims to deliver 100 new Digital Hubs around the UK & Ireland to provide digital resources that support the most vulnerable communities.


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