Race Online 2012 unveils host of brand partners

Race Online 2012: launches 'go on give an hour' campaign
Race Online 2012: launches 'go on give an hour' campaign

Sky, Everything Everywhere, BBC, Three, Mecca Bingo, Lloyds, Microsoft, BT and the Post Office are among the brands supporting the Government's Race Online 2012 campaign to encourage 8.7 million members of the public to go online.

The 'Go on Give an Hour' campaign launches this week to coincide with the clocks going back on 30 October. It encourages consumers to use the extra hour they would spend in bed helping other people learn how to use the internet.

The campaign features TV, radio, online and outdoor activity by Engine.

A toolkit for "digital champions" has been created for those who pledge to get involved in the scheme. It offers ideas and tips about ways to get more people involved and a "go on" badge for use by for companies and organisations, both devised by 23Red.

Three, the mobile operator, is opening its 319 stores for an extra hour in the evening from 23 October to 4 November to offer internet demonstrations.

On 31 October Mecca Bingo will host internet taster sessions, while Post Office staff at 370 branches will talk to the public about the benefits of using the internet on 25 October.

John Lewis and Wetherspoon's will also run similar schemes on 24 October.

Microsoft is supporting the campaign on MSN and Bing and is expected to release a ready-to-use Windows 7 at the lower price of £95 to encourage people online.

Mumsnet and Gransnet, moneysupermarket.com and Yell are also promoting the campaign and Sky and TalkTalk are both encouraging their customers to pledge to the 'Give an Hour' campaign through their site and social media channels.

Other partners include the Scouts Association, UK Online Centres, Camelot, Big Lottery Fund, JobCentre Plus, Age UK and NHS Choices.

Martha Lane Fox, co-founder of Lastminute.com and UK Digital Champion, said: "We live in an age when 'digital' is a vital life skill – as basic as knowing how to read and write and 90% of new jobs require it. You're 25% more likely to get work when you have web skills and once in work you'll earn up to 10% more. 

"It's simply unacceptable that so many people are still unable to benefit from what the web can offer."

Race Online was launched in October 2010.

Follow Sarah Shearman on Twitter @shearmans

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