22nd October, 2020 by Katharinet

Fife Council has been firing up its digital skills support in the last month by enlisting over 140 new Digital Champions.

These new Digital Champions are all employees working across the Council and all signed up to help fellow colleagues and tenants develop their essential digital skills. As a Fife Digital Champion, they improve their own digital know-how through Digital Unite’s Digital Champions Network, our online training platform packed full of courses and resources.

Image of Fife Council project page in the Digital Champions NetworkThe Council encourages all participating staff to complete nine specific Network courses covering Digital Champion essentials, supporting older people, helping colleagues and online security and banking so they are ready and able to respond to any digital questions. So far over 100 courses have been completed, with 95% of Fife Champions recommending them.

I now feel like a proper Digital Champion

Housing Management Officer, Wendy Melville, is one of those Champions. “Since the start of the pandemic we’ve been working with our tenants over the phone, instead of face to face and helping them to use technology and the internet has become a big part of our support. So many have difficulties managing their finances online as well as Universal Credit and smart meters. Many of our older tenants have never used a smartphone or tablet. Every week I contact one elderly lady to talk her through paying her rent online to stop her falling in to rent arrears.

“It has been a steep learning curve, both for me and the tenants I work with but the Network training has helped me understand much better how to help people with digital skills and given me information I can signpost them to. I’ve also learnt lots of new things myself as well. Before Covid I never really thought about helping people online but now I feel like a proper Digital Champion.”

Our Digital Champion programme has really come in to its own this year

Carolann Bell, Housing Professional at Fife Council said: “We created our Digital Champion programme in March 2019 but it has really come into its own this year with Covid-19 and the urgent need to help customers access services and information online. It is important our staff feel confident and equipped to answer digital questions and the Network gives us the means to do that. Feedback shows our teams have found the Digital Unite training really useful and something they definitely needed.”

“The Council is also applying to Connecting Scotland, a Scottish Government programme set up in response to coronavirus to provide devices to people who are digitally excluded or on low incomes. The Network will really help our staff pass on their knowledge to these tenants who may have no knowledge of how to use a device or set up accounts.”

Train your staff as Digital Champions

Our Digital Champions Network is an award-winning digital learning platform that makes people feel better equipped and more confident to be Digital Champions. With over 20 online courses, hundreds of resources, it combines training and development with project management tools that track progress and impact. Get in touch to find out more about becoming a member.