Martha Lane Fox launches Give an Hour campaign

Martha Lane-Fox

UK web denizens are being asked to give up an hour of their time to help others get online.

The UK's Digital Champion Martha Lane Fox has launched a campaign asking people to use the extra hour they get when the clocks go back to assist someone they know in using the internet.

It forms part of the Race Online 2012 initiative, which was launched in July 2010 with the aim of helping the nine million who have never used the internet online.

"There are still 8.7 million people in the UK who've never made a free Skype call, explored and expanded their interests or got a great deal online. Yet, it's impossible to imagine life without the web for anyone who uses it regularly," Fox said.

We live in an age when digital' is a vital life skill - as basic as knowing how to read and write.

"We live in an age when digital' is a vital life skill - as basic as knowing how to read and write. 90 per cent of new jobs require it, you're 25 per cent more likely to get work when you have web skills and once in work you'll earn up to 10 per cent more. It's simply unacceptable that so many people are still unable to benefit from what the web can offer."

A host of tech companies are contributing to the project, including mobile provider 3, whose store workers are giving more than 10,000 hours of their time to show people the benefits of the internet.

Microsoft previously pledged to provide 95 refurbished computers, available from Remploy, which IT Pro interviewed in May about the project, and PCXUK are offering refurbished PCs as well.

BT and TalkTalk are also heavily involved, encouraging customers to help out.

Earlier this year, the campaign recruited 100,000 digital champions to spread the word.

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.