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Our Click Start project helped over 3,500 Black Country residents to get online

Click Start Image

The Black Country Click Start project, which was led by whg and GSA helped 3,591 participants learn how to access online services and make the most of the internet.

The £6.9m project, which was jointly funded by the National Lottery Community Fund and European Social Fund (ESF), was set up in 2016 to help vulnerable people use the internet to manage their money, find training, volunteering opportunities or paid work.

The scheme was targeted at social housing tenants who would be affected by the introduction of Universal Credit and other changes to the welfare system which came in after 2010.

Black Country Click Start was extended twice, coming to an end in April 2023.

Between 2016 and 2022, 3,587 participants increased their ability to use the internet with confidence, and 2,005 benefited from financial and money advice such as maximising welfare benefits, reducing debt and securing savings through websites.

Commenting on the success of Black Country Click Start, Ross Kuklinski, our Director of Homes and Community said “We are very proud of what Black Country Click Start has achieved in its seven years of operation.

“Working in partnership, we helped more than 3,500 digitally-excluded people gain access to and confidence in using the internet for everyday activities.

“This project will leave an enduring legacy with thousands of Black Country residents who now have greater access to information and services thanks to skills learnt on the Click Start course.”

Other partners involved in the project included; Black Country Housing Group, Wolverhampton Homes, Trident Housing, Ashley Community Housing, Citizens Advice Sandwell-Walsall, Walsall College, Remploy and Groundwork.

Dale Stewart, Black Country Click Start project manager at whg, said: “This project has made an enormous difference to families and individuals across the Black Country.

“Participants increased their financial and digital skills, enabling them to deal with debt and money problems more effectively and improving access through the internet to a wider range of support services.

“Not only this, they were better able to access employment and skills opportunities, gain in confidence and got to know others in their community.”

Black Country Click Start is one of four projects within the Building Better Opportunities programme across the Black Country. The projects are helping people across Wolverhampton, Walsall, Dudley and Sandwell move into or closer to the labour market by developing their financial and digital skills.