DIGITAL SKILLS BOOST FOR FROME BUSINESSES AND CHARITIES

Charities and small businesses in Frome have been given a digital skill boost with a free training event hosted by Lloyds Banking Group.

The free half-day workshop, opened by David Warburton MP and run in partnership with Frome Town Council, Mendip District Council and Heart of the South West Digital Skills Partnership, featured talks from digital experts at Google and Lloyds Banking Group.

Held at Frome Town hall, it was attended by more than 50 local charities and small businesses.

The workshop included sessions on optimising a website so it is accessible from any mobile device, improving digital presence through social media, online video and Google My Business, staying safe online and using digital technologies to help better manage money.

Lloyds Banking Groups’ latest Business Digital Index showed that almost half (48%) of the region’s small businesses lack basic digital skills and a third (36%) do not have their own website, missing out on the potential benefits of trading online including increasing turnover and overseas trade.

Stephen Noakes, Lloyds Banking Group’s Ambassador for the South West, said: “Basic digital skills can give businesses and charities a major boost, helping them to unlock the benefits of being online such as increasing sales or donations and raising awareness.

“It’s vitally important that we boost the region’s digital capability, that’s why as part of our plan to help Britain prosper we’ve trained more than 1,400 digital champions in the South West who can provide on the ground support and help organisations to improve their skills.”

David Warburton Member of Parliament for Somerton and Frome, said: “Our small businesses and charities can hugely benefit from basic digital skills. So it was a delight to take part in - and support - Lloyds Banking Group’s seminar in Frome.  It’s fantastic that this training is helping businesses across Frome to truly realise their potential.”

Chris Watson attended the training and said: “I run Music Eye which promotes live music and musicians via social media, providing them with valuable exposure to the public and venues. The training gave me some valuable insights that will help to optimise the digital footprint and increase the exposure of those I promote. Thanks to Lloyds, Google and Frome Town Council for supporting the growth and well-being of businesses with limited resources. These courses are much needed and help focus on what is necessary to be successful.”

The Digital Know How event was hosted by Lloyds Banking Group as part of its Helping Britain Prosper plan, which has seen the Group train one in every four of its colleagues to help people and organisations use the internet to improve their digital skills and financial capability. The Group has committed to providing digital skills training, including training on internet banking, for 2.5 million individuals, SMEs and charities by 2020.