Your organisation and Coronavirus

A special message about Coronavirus and your organisation's digital skills programs

Updated: 8 July 2020

The information on this page is intended to help organisations in the Be Connected Network respond to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, including highlighting support and resources available and providing information on Good Things Foundation's approach to managing grants and programs at this time.

The information on this page may change over time, with the publishing date at the top of the page showing you when it was last updated. Do not use this page for up to date information regarding the spread or impact of COVID-19 in your community.

NOTE: Information from the Victorian Government about restrictions and links to advice is available here.

Reintroducing face-to-face support

Some organisations across the country have started reintroducing face-to-face digital skills sessions to people in their communities with the easing of restrictions in their location.

Please follow your State/Territory Government and organisations advice, policies and legislation when planning the re-introduction of face-to-face sessions.

In particular, we recommend that you:

  • Follow physical distancing requirements, including maintaining 1.5m spacing between participants (including between digital mentors and learners)
  • Ask learners to sign in to your sessions and provide contact details, and use hand sanitiser and device cleaning wipes on arrival
  • Implement appropriate hygiene practices for devices and equipment, and when entering and leaving the learning space
  • Encourage learners to arrive just before and leave quickly after your session
  • Ask people to stay home if they are feeling unwell

Resources on reintroducing face-to-face sessions:

Supporting your community to learn digital skills remotely

For those not yet able to commence face-to-face support or who need to restart online delivery of their programs, we have developed resources to support you to stay connected with your community remotely.

Resources on delivering digital skills remotely

Remotely supporting people with low digital skills to learn or connect with others online can be a challenge. We know not all learners have an internet connection or device they can use. For those that do, we are supporting organisations to be innovative around how they deliver support remotely:

Resources on digital mentoring can be accessed here.

Update your organisation’s details

You can now easily let us know if you are delivering remote support for learners by updating your organisation's profile on the Be Connected Network Partner website. This is useful to do so that we can refer learners unable to attend a face-to-face session to a Network Partner that is providing support online.

To update your details:

  1. Login to the Be Connected Network Partner website
  2. Navigate to "Your organisations" and select "Add or edit organisations"
  3. Click "Edit organisation"
  4. Scroll down to the Services section and tick the two boxes to indicate if you are providing support for learners remotely and accepting referrals.
  5. Save your changes

If you have more than one location registered, please update these details for each branch.

Digital skills topics and session plans

We know that there is a lot of information online about COVID-19 at the moment and people in your community with low or no digital skills may need support to find reliable and up to date information. They may also need support to access government services online, or stay in touch with friends and family.

We have created resources on COVID-19 and digital health literacy:

More digital health literacy program resources are here, including tips on finding reliable online information about health and wellbeing.

Essential digital skills resources:

More essential digital skills session plans can be found here.

Other resources:

What is coronavirus (COVID-19)?

What is coronavirus (COVID-19)?

The Australian Government Department of Health website has information regarding the Coronavirus. If you are worried about symptoms, please contact your state or territory health authority for more information. In addition, there is a 24hr helpline which you can call - the National Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080. The helpline operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you require translating or interpreting services, then call 131 450.

Centre closures and program suspensions

Centre closures and program suspensions

Australian states and territories have outlined roadmaps to reducing social distancing restrictions, and some libraries, community and recreation centres are now allowed to re-open. Special restrictions remain in place for aged care facilities and areas of Victoria.

Monitor official government and health authority advice for the latest updates relevant to your organisation, community and location. Find the latest Australian Government advice here and also follow advice and directions given by your local state or territory public health agency.

Useful resources:

Support while working remotely

Support while working remotely

Good Things Foundation will continue to provide remote support to our Network, even if you are not in your centre or library.

If you are now at home, there are steps you can take and share with your community:

  • Provide clear and up to date information based on Government advice to your teams
  • Wash your hands regularly. The World Health Organisation has provided some clear guidelines on handwashing.
  • Frequently clean key areas including keyboards and door handles.
  • Encourage your team and community to follow current quarantine, isolation and social distancing advice. The government has provided advice on who may need to isolate.
  • Ask people to stay home if they are feeling unwell.
Funding to get your community connected

Funding to get your community connected

215 Digital Devices grant awarded

215 Digital Devices grants totalling $1 million have been awarded to organisations in the Be Connected Network to provide loan devices and data to socially isolated or disadvantaged older Australians during the COVID-19 crisis.

In a recent survey, 75% of the Be Connected Network said that learners lacking devices to use at home is an issue in their community. Through the Digital Devices grant, successful Be Connected Network Partners received either $2,500 or $5,000 in funding to provide internet connected devices to learners on a loan basis.

Read more about this grant

See our digital device grant resources

Use existing funding for remote digital skills support

Be Connected Activation, Building Digital Skills or Capacity Building grants can be used to purchase equipment such as webcams or software that assist you to move your support sessions online. For organisations that already hold one of these grants, please reflect the changes in what you spent the funds on in your end of grant financial acquittal.

If you have any further queries about grant funding, contact our Network support team.

Be Connected Grant extensions now applied

Be Connected Grant extensions now applied

Be Connected grant holders have now had 3-month extension automatically applied to their grant timeframe, giving you extra time to deliver your programs and manage risks associated with COVID-19. This will apply to all organisations who hold a current:

  • Activation grant
  • Community Engagement grant
  • Building Digital Skills grant
  • Capacity Building grant

Organisations do not need to contact Good Things Foundation about this - we have automatically adjusted the contract end date.

The extensions will also be applied to grants open in March.

We are working with the Australian Digital Health Agency regarding Health My Way grant timelines. We understand that COVID-19 is impacting on plans to deliver this program and that sessions and events are now cancelled.

Advocating for our Network

Advocating for our Network

We know this is a tough time for our Network and our community. That’s why we are:

Keeping in touch with us

Keeping in touch with us

The Good things Foundation team are now working remotely from home, but our regular telephone numbers are still operational and emails are still being answered. Please do not hesitate to continue to contact us as you usually would.

We have been sending special email updates to the person in your organisation who receives your monthly survey from us and will continue to include information in our fortnightly newsletter.

If your organisation’s contact details need updating, get in touch. We are also posting on social media, including the Be Connected Network Facebook Group, news and updates from Good Things Foundation.

This page will be updated with our latest news on Good Things Foundation’s response to COVID-19. Check the date at the top of the page to see when it was last edited. Please do not use this page to find up to date information regarding the spread or impact of COVID-19 in your community - refer to official government and health authority information for this.

Good Things Foundation will keep the Network updated as further information arises. Please contact the Good Things Foundation team if you have concerns regarding your digital skills programs.

P: (02) 9051 9292