Looking back over the year, again it seems like we’ve come such a long way. 2012-13 has been the year of building what was a fledgling mutual this time last year - clarifying our strategy, developing new partnerships and new ways of working, and growing our delivery and our ambitions.
In December 2012, we celebrated our first birthday as a mutual - and I’m so proud of all that we’ve achieved. The road hasn’t always been a smooth one, as we’ve focussed on securing funding to take the organisation forward, which has been challenging at times. But I’m delighted that we end the year on a solid footing, with a new delivery model, having generated income through a number of different streams to help nurture some green shoots for our longer term sustainability.
We’re now a smarter organisation and we are iterating all the time - constantly seeking to improve. We do this through dialogue with as many of our 5,000+ community partners as we can - listening, adapting, evolving. Our focus is always about increasing the action and impact at grassroots level so that more people benefit from using digital technology.
As always, the highlights of the year are numerous, but as a numbers person, time and time again I’m impressed at passing the one million people helped by UK online centres mark, in July 2012. But there’s so much more that we’ve achieved, as this review shows.
We’ll continue to broaden our scope this year, and although we’ll continue to put digital inclusion at the core of what we do, we’ll work with community organisations outside of the sector to ensure they have the skills they need to do more, we’ll apply our model to the world of non-formal learning, and we’ll continue working with government and other organisations, supporting digital by default service development and ensuring people have the skills they need to access these new services.
None of this is possible without partnerships so I want to thank everyone in small and big organisations who help us and each other to achieve so much. I am certainly very excited about the year ahead, and I look forward to working with many of you.
Chief Executive, Online Centres Foundation