DCMS funding to boost media literacy among older black people in Southampton

OVM has been awarded a slice of £1 million from the government to help keep older people in our communities safe online.

More than £1 million has been granted to 17 UK organisations to pilot new ways of boosting media literacy skills for people at risk of being deceived into believing false information.

It’s part of the government’s Media Literacy Strategy to protect people from online disinformation and keep safe online.

“With the rise of online disinformation, teaching people to identify fact from fiction has never been more important to public safety.”

Michelle Donelan, Digital Secretary

OVM will be providing online safety workshops for African and Caribbean people over 55 in Southampton. The workshop, created in partnership with black-led community groups in the city, will be delivered four times at different venues to make it accessible to more people.

The money comes from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s Media Literacy Taskforce Fund, one of two funding schemes created to target communities who they term “hard-to-reach” and vulnerable groups. The fund invests in community-led projects to ensure everyone has the opportunity to improve their media literacy skills and protect themselves from online disinformation.

This funding will allow us to provide much-needed support to older people in our African and Caribbean communities. It addresses needs they’ve voiced to us again and again over the past few years – how to keep safe online, how to spot and deal with disinformation, and how to protect themselves from cyber criminals. We’ve been supporting people on an individual basis as and when they ask for it – like in our media support drop-ins – and now we can do it in a structured, formal way that will reach, include and positively impact more people.

When we consulted with our communities to design the content of our online safety workshop the need was clear, and urgent. We’re grateful to the DCMS for this grant to support older black people who are often left behind when it comes to media literacy and digital initiatives.

Veronica Gordon, Founder, Our Version Media

The workshops will take place during March and April 2023.

OVM has been awarded a share of the money alongside Bournemouth University, The Guardian Foundation, The National Literacy Trust, NewsGuard, Glitch, The Economist Educational Foundation, Parent Zone, Common Sense Media, London School of Economics, Revealing Reality, PSHE Association, Leeds Older People’s Forum and more.

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