Children and Youth Charities
AOL UK recently extended its relationship with Fairbridge, a youth development charity that offers long-term personal development programmes for young people between the ages of 13-25. Following a number of successful AOL Web Awareness courses at Fairbridge in London, many more young people in Glasgow, Southampton and De Cymru have benefited from a course which enables them to get online, develop Internet skills and create Web pages.
The relationship with Fairbridge enables AOL UK to work with disenfranchised young people who may benefit from having access to the online medium, particularly for online learning. Two-thirds of Fairbridge graduates from the AOL Web Awareness courses have gone on to further education or employment.
"It is a relationship which has gone a step beyond. This is a partnership
because it has been a relationship grown out of a common vision: a desire to provide
marginalised young people with a bridge across the digital divide."
Nigel Haynes, Director, Fairbridge
AOL UK is the official online media partner for Give it up for Children! In this role, the online interactive services provider will build awareness of the NCH initiative on its service, which has more than two million members in the UK. A special Give it up for Children! area (AOL Keyword: Give it up) will provide information about how members can get involved. The area will be promoted from relevant channels within the AOL service, such as Chat and Community. AOL will also encourage employees to sign up for the initiative.
AOL is also a member of the Access to IT consortium, in which corporates work in partnership with NCH to provide best practice examples of how to improve IT access for vulnerable children and young people.
AOL UK has had close ties with Centrepoint, the charity that helps homeless and socially excluded young people to rebuild their lives, for many years. The initial aim of this relationship was to focus on the issue of homelessness and how the Internet could benefit young people who have no fixed address. This has led to AOL UK and Centrepoint using the Internet to train, educate and empower disadvantaged young people.
This year, AOL UK and Centrepoint are working together at the Camberwell Foyer and Salter's City Foyer to provide weekly tutoring for residents towards the ECDL (European Computer Driving Licence) and CLAIT (Computer Literacy and Information Technology) qualifications.
"Thanks to AOL, young people at Centrepoint are learning
the very skills and attitudes they need to build firm foundations so they can
turn their lives around and realise their potential."
Anthony Lawton, Chief Executive, Centrepoint
AOL UK recognises the need to address the challenges faced by people with a range of disabilities when going online. In 2000, AOL UK began working with John Grooms, a charity that provides services to more than 38,000 people with disabilities and their families, to give funding, training and specialist equipment for helping people with disabilities to make the most of being online. The relationship has grown over time and our work has extended to exploring specific barriers to access such as payment issues, unmetered usage and physical disability.
the net has given me a real incentive to be more proficient on my computer.
I'm doing a basic computing course at college and I would like to work
with computers and using the Internet may help me to get a job."
- John Grooms resident
In 1998, AOL UK recognised that the Internet would be a fantastic place for the deaf and the hard of hearing community to come together. We embarked on a joint marketing initiative in association with the RNID focusing on marginalised groups who would most benefit from online access. AOL Keyword: RNID is now a thriving microsite on the AOL service in the UK. It pioneers the idea of building an online community that brings people together to discuss a common topic.
AOL UK works with a number of charities in the UK dealing with the issue of
the digital divide and the impact it has on people with physical
disabilities. By teaming up with Mencap, AOL is widening its focus to people with learning disabilities.
The primary aims of the Mencap and AOL UK partnership are to work together
on the development of the Mencap website and for Mencap to provide support
and training for AOL UK employees who have responsibility for developing online products and services that are accessible for everyone.
Working with Mencap further builds upon AOL UK's achievements in the field of accessibility and follows the publication of the company's Accessibility Policy.