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The Digital Champions of Lloyds Banking Group continue their work apace – this week supporting an initiative launched by Digital skills charity Go ON UK in the London Borough of Lewisham, to help local people and businesses develop their digital skills. The event, along with the publishing of the Lloyds Bank Consumer Digital Index in January, is part of a wider collaboration between LBG and Go ON UK to improve levels of basic digital skills nationwide. One of the key findings of the Consumer Digital Index was that 11.1m people in the UK have low digital capability. With digital at the heart of our Group strategy, we are keen to take a lead in the transition to an increasingly digital economy by helping to improve people’s lives through the power of the internet.

This week’s event, entitled ‘Go ON Lewisham’, kicked off a 12-month project in which Go ON UK and Lloyds Bank will work with Lewisham Council to target those most in need of support: families in poverty, older people, people with disabilities, small and micro businesses and young people not in employment, education or training. In Lewisham, over 67,500 adults do not have basic digital skills and 22% of small businesses in Lewisham do not feel confident using the internet so there is a huge opportunity to make a difference. Lloyds Bank has already recruited over 670 Digital Champions against a target of 1,000 in the Greater London area so are well placed to offer support where it is needed most.

The partnership aims to build on the successes seen so far in Croydon, following the launch of a similar initiative in November last year where Lloyds Bank joined forces with a number of other partner organisations, including Argos, Croydon Borough Council, Post Office and Age UK, to kick-off specific digital upskilling initiatives in the area.

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Ed Thurman, MD of Financial Institutions, Director for Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking and LBG’s Regional Ambassador for London, is very familiar with the important role that businesses play in local communities and was a key speaker at the launch event. He said: “We’re supporting a range of projects as part of this initiative which, we are sure will make a real difference to residents and organisations across Lewisham. For example, we’re proud to be supporting MyBnk, an initiative aimed at delivering financial skills training to young people across the Borough. And on the high street, we’re setting up a DigiZone in our Lloyds Bank branch in Lewisham that will offer a drop-in service for people to find out more about the benefits of being online and gain support to develop their Basic Digital Skills”.

Sir Steve Bullock, Mayor of Lewisham “Basic digital skills are like money and electricity – you can’t participate fully in modern life without them.” You can find out more about Go On Lewisham here.

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