How independent Digital Champions have helped over 1,000 people with digital skills
Jeff is a Digital Champion in Cornwall. Every week he goes along to his local library to help people get to grips with technology and the internet. In a year he’s supported and inspired over 130 learners.
Jeff doesn’t work for the library, or the local Council, but instead has become a volunteer Digital Champion simply because he wants to share his skills and knowledge to help others get online. And he gets huge satisfaction from doing so. As Jeff describes
“I get a huge lift from helping people to achieve those lightbulb moments when they suddenly realise that they understand something that was previously a mystery to them”
As part of the Lottery funded One Digital programme, Digital Unite is proud to have supported Jeff and 80 fellow independent Digital Champions, who collectively have helped over 1,000 people in two and a half years. All of them are proactively giving their time and passion to teach others digital skills, without any help or guidance themselves.
That’s where we’ve come in!
We have given these independent Digital Champions free access to our Digital Champions Network so they can use the online courses and resources to build their confidence and expertise. It has given them a safety net of knowledge and information to fall back on. They can go into their teaching sessions with a ready-made pack of learner materials. It has made them feel part of a Digital Champion community and importantly, for many, it has validated their role as a Digital Champion, giving them an added boost to offer their services.
Sandra used our guides to help her develop her Computer Club at her local Women’s Institute. She had struggled to find the right information to solve many of the problems learners had once they were past the complete beginner stage.
“My new knowledge gained from the Digital Champions Network has increased my confidence hugely”Quote from independent volunteer Digital Champion Sandra
Sandra also used the editable flyers to advertise the Computer Club.
We currently support 80 independent Digital Champions
Louise, in Oxfordshire, and Peter, in Lincolnshire, both have IT skills but were unsure how to start to support others.
“Although my background is IT (many years ago) I don’t have experience developing training courses for beginners and could really do with some help in this respect”Quote from independent volunteer Digital Champion Louise
“I would like to help my local community as a Digital Champion. I have recently retired from local government and would like to put my IT skills to good use. Can you advise me how to go about it?”Question we were asked by independent volunteer Digital Champion Peter
At his computer club, Bruno found our resources were most relevant to the situations he was facing in his drop-in sessions.
“The bite-sized accessibility courses were particularly helpful – topics such as memory loss, visual Impairments and learners with a physical disability or dexterity issue ”.Quote from independent volunteer Digital Champion Bruno
For our part it has been hugely rewarding to have been able to support Jeff, Sandra, Bruno, Louise, Peter and all the other inspiring independent Digital Champions.
It has been a brilliant example of the difference One Digital has made on the ground, as these volunteers are able to reach right into the heart of the community. In truth we’ve done the easy bit through our Digital Champion Network Network – it is these volunteers who are giving their time, energy and enthusiasm, week after week, to remove the digital barriers people are facing. It has been a privilege to work with them.