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Closure threat for digital inclusion charity seeking £20,000 to survive

A UK charity offering digital skills training to hundreds of people with disabilities will be forced to shut unless £20,000 of running costs are provided urgently.

Cambridge Online provides 4,000 one-to-one tutorials by ‘digital champions’ for over 300 disabled, disadvantaged and older people each year from around Cambridgeshire and beyond. The charity teaches learners a wide range of digital literacy skills, including beginners’ online courses, online shopping, services and job-hunting, Facebook and social media, and individual training requested by learners.

Established in the mid-’90s, the charity currently relies on a mix of grants, donations and fees from a range of organisations, including Cambridge City Council and Good Things Foundation. These funds allow most services to be offered for free, with others at a low cost. Most of the skills training sessions and personal tutorials are given by a volunteer team of 30 digital champions.

However, in the last few years the charity has “struggled to make ends meet,” Andrew Entecott, Cambridge Online’s Chief Executive, told e-Access Bulletin. Entecott explained that raising the charity’s £70,000 annual running costs has not been possible due to a lack of business sponsorship, with only one business supporting the charity.

Separate grant and fee income for the charity is scheduled for April, but the situation has become urgent. Entecott said: “Cambridge Online only has a few weeks of running costs remaining. Although grants and fees are due to arrive in April, the charity does not currently have enough money to pay costs in February and March.”

Anyone interested in helping Cambridge Online continue to provide its services can contact the charity’s Chief Executive, Andrew Entecott, at the following email address:
andrew@cambridgeonline.org.uk .

Find out more about the charity’s work at the Cambridge Online website:
http://eab.li/4j .

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