A drive to recruit computer-savvy volunteers to help get more people online has seen more than 100,000 people come forward.

The Race Online 2012 campaign has been spearheaded by lastminute.com founder, Martha Lane Fox, who said that the aim of the initiative was to “engage people with the joys of being on the internet”.

The initiative set about recruiting the so-called Digital Champions by appealing to partner companies and organisations, including Mecca Bingo, Post Offices and public libraries. They have also engaged the time and knowledge of 40,000 scouts, capitalising on the fact that it is often the case that younger people have more online nous than older people, having been brought up in a technological age.

“I’m not asking people to sit down and go through the complications of a presentation or train somebody in complex coding – I just want to enthuse people and inspire them and I think the rest will take care of itself,” Lane Fox said. “For those people, it’s a very simple task – they need to engage people with the joys of being on the internet.”

She added that she hoped the formal recruitment of the initial 100,000 volunteers would engender a more informal, rolling recruitment process through which people will be able to chip in with their knowledge and information to help people they know on a very local level.

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