One Digital Initiative Launches Community of Practice

One Digital, a unique initiative that helps people to improve their digital skills, today launches its Community of Practice, a new learning alliance to share best practice approaches to digital inclusion.

The Community of Practice will bring together the programme’s five diverse partner organisations to share and disseminate knowledge on how best to use Digital Champions to help people learn basic digital skills. Almost 12 million people in the UK lack basic digital skills1,2, and the learnings will be used to help more people develop the necessary digital skills needed to participate in today’s digitally-driven society.

Launched in January 2016 and supported by The Big Lottery Fund, the One Digital partnership is made up of Age UK, Citizens Online, Clarion Futures (Clarion Housing Group’s charitable foundation) Digital Unite and the Scottish Council of Voluntary Organisations (SCVO). The programme supports people to get online or to develop their basic digital skills through the help of Digital Champions, trusted intermediaries who have been trained to provide one-to-one support. So far the programme has already recruited and trained over 1,100 Digital Champions and supported over 11,000 people to get online.

Through its partners, One Digital helps people to develop the skills to confidently carry out a range of activities online. These can include applying for a job, keeping in touch with family and friends, and saving money on goods and services.

The One Digital Community of Practice will involve Digital Champions, project staff from One Digital and external partners who will come together to share their knowledge and understanding of how best to use Digital Champions to improve basic digital skills. Together they will share good practice resources to develop and improve their digital inclusion activity, in order to reach and improve digital skills across more sections of society.

The Community will be led by Kate Gallant, One Digital’s Learning Facilitator, and will cover a range of topics, such as approaches to using Digital Champions, mapping digital exclusion risk, and evaluating digital inclusion impact.

Kate Gallant, Learning Facilitator for the One Digital Community of Practice, said:

“The One Digital programme shows just how much can be achieved when diverse organisations come together and commit to learning from each other. We believe the Community of Practice will provide us with better opportunities and ways of working together and lead the way in the development of more effective Digital Champion models. Improving knowledge and understanding of the best approaches will help us all better share digital skills with more people in local communities.”

Sarah Cant, One Digital Programme Director, said;

“The strength of the One Digital programme is that it brings together a group of partners, each with their own knowledge and expertise. Their exciting projects have each been proven to reach a wide range of people and help them improve their digital skills.

In this next phase of One Digital, the Community of Practice will provide partner organisations with a new forum to share learning and experiences, allowing us to pool our collective knowledge and harness the power of this innovative partnership. By sharing best practice we will be able to build on the success of the One Digital programme and ensure that more people can benefit from getting online to stay in touch with loved ones, find a job or save money.”

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About One Digital

Since the launch of the first phase in January 2016, the programme has successfully helped more than 11,000 people across the UK to get online, with many people saying the confidence and skills they gained had been ‘life changing’, from support for job hunting to social engagement.

Over 1,100 Digital Champions have been recruited and trained, providing personal support to those seeking to get online, which has in turn improved their own confidence and digital expertise through helping others.

The One Digital Partners

Age UK

Age UK believes that everyone should have the opportunity to make the most of later life, whatever their circumstances.

One Digital Phase 2 will see multiple partners across regions transforming digital skills delivery for older people in areas with high digital exclusion. Delivered by local Age UK’s, older people will be supported to learn how digital skills can benefit them, for example by enabling them to keep in contact with loved ones, make savings by shopping online and pursue hobbies.

Citizens Online

Citizens Online is a UK charity committed to researching, addressing and promoting the issues of digital inclusion. In collaboration with a wide range of partners, Citizens Online has been specialising in digital inclusion, skills and service transformation since 2000.

For One Digital they will embed One Digital and its Digital Champion model by using their flagship Switch approach. Switch is based on years of delivery experience and research and helps organisations increase uptake of their digital service transformation. Switch is a programme of evidence gathering, action planning and partnership development.

Citizens Online will use Switch to support the development of a long-term, scalable approach through action planning and partnership development across 20 locations. There is up to 50% match funding available from the Big Lottery Fund to support these 20 projects. Phase 2 will also enable a ‘deep dive’ in two locations, Brighton and Hove and Gwynedd (in the Welsh language), showing transformation in action.

Clarion Futures

Clarion Futures is part of Clarion Housing Group and is a registered charitable foundation. We will invest £150 million over ten years to deliver one of the largest social investment programmes in the country. Our mission is to provide social housing residents with the support, skills and opportunities to transform their lives and communities for the better.

Digital Unite

Digital Unite is one of the UK’s leading providers of digital skills learning and the only organisation that focuses exclusively on vocational training and support for Digital Champions.

For One Digital, Digital Unite will continue to facilitate the Digital Champion infrastructure for each partner project using their existing online train-the-trainer platform, the Digital Champions Network. With their evidence base and a learner-led co-design process, they will be using new technologies and teaching approaches to radically extend the Network’s support. Digital Unite is also supporting individuals and organisations from a wide variety of sectors with establishing their own local Digital Champion movements underpinned by the Network’s products and services.

SCVO

The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is the membership organisation for Scotland’s charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises. A dedicated team is working across public, private and third sectors in Scotland to increase digital participation.

Their One Digital project will transform the Scottish third sector to become more digitally confident and capable. By creating a meaningful intervention at leadership, organisation and individual levels they will propel the third sector to the centre of the digital revolution.

The Big Lottery Fund

The Big Lottery Fund is the largest funder of community activity in the UK. It puts people in the lead to improve their lives and communities, often through small, local projects. It is responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised by National Lottery players for good causes. In 2016/17 it awarded £712.7 million and supported more than 13,814 projects across the UK for health, education, environment and charitable purposes.

Since June 2004 it has awarded £8.5 billion to projects that change the lives of millions of people.

1 Basic Digital Skills are the skills needed by all individuals to safely take part in and contribute to online activities such as sending emails, banking online and search for information online. https://www.thetechpartnership.com/basic-digital-skills/

221% (11.5m) of UK adults are classified as not having Basic Digital Skills (Lloyds Bank Consumer Digital Index 2017)

Notes to Editors:

For further information, case studies and interviews please contact Hannah Barker-Green in the Age UK media team by email: hannah.barker-green@ageuk.org.uk or by phone: 020 3033 1430.

Rebecca Stafford

Community of Practice Project Support Officer