Top tips thanks to Google

Halifax as part of Lloyds Banking Group and the Halifax Foundation for Northern Ireland has hosted a Google Digital Garage training session aimed at offering local charities the chance to boost their digital skills and help them better understand the benefits of being online and what this can bring to their organisation.

The free training session was designed to help participants understand how they can grow their charity online with top tips for making the most of the web for their organisations and a session on how to use social media and free online tools.

Among those attending were Sean O’Hare from Homestart Causeway, Linda McCleary from Age Concern Causeway, Joanne Norris from Vineyard Compassion and Stephanie Norris who manages the charity’s high street shop Hope and Gloria in Coleraine

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The day was hosted by Halifax and the Halifax foundation for Northern Ireland and delivered in collaboration with Google and Reason Digital, a specialist agency that works with voluntary organisations, community groups and other pro-social organisations to change the world using digital technology.

Brenda McMullan, Halifax Foundation for Northern Ireland said: “Digital skills and a strong online presence are more important than ever and to thrive charities need the skills to communicate effectively through social media and through their websites. Having moved to an online application system within the Halifax Foundation for Northern Ireland, we are committed to supporting charities to access our funding and what better way to do this than by utilising the expertise of Google, Reason Digital and Lloyds Banking Group. Many of the organisations that we support have said they would like to make better use of their online communications and we feel these digital skills will give charities in Northern Ireland the tools they need to really make the most of the web.”

Google’s Digital Garages focus on assisting those looking for a ‘digital tune-up’ to learn the skills they need to make the most of the web. They look to equip participants with the knowledge they need to ‘turbocharge’ growth, with the workshops acting as a one stop shop.

The workshop was followed by a networking event where attendees were able to discuss what they’ve learnt with their peers as well as representatives from Lloyds Banking Group, Google, and Reason Digital.

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Financial and digital inclusion is a priority for Lloyds Banking Group and is included in the Group’s Helping Britain Prosper Plan. The workshop in Belfast is part of a wider approach to deliver digital skills training to small organisations across the UK.

Jim McCooe, Lloyds Banking Group’s Ambassador for Northern Ireland said: “Boosting the digital skills of charities in Northern Ireland gives them the opportunity to make the most of the amazing talent and ability that they already have. Research highlights that 49% of charities lack digital skills and it is for this reason that the Group has made a public commitment within its Helping Britain Prosper Plan to ensure that 20,000 of its colleagues provide support to people and organisations use the internet to improve digital skills and financial capabilities by 2020. It’s also fantastic that the work undertaken by the Halifax Foundation for Northern Ireland, through our collaboration with Google, allows us to support our communities across Northern Ireland in this way.”

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