– Councils –
The London Borough of Waltham Forest
Waltham Forest Council joined our Network as part of their Assisted Digital Strategy. The strategy aimed to see 95 per cent of Waltham Forest residents online and taking daily advantage of the benefits that digital technology offers.
In 18 months they created a community of around 70 Digital Champions, both staff and resident volunteers, who helped to embed a programme of digital skills support across the borough. These trained and supported Champions worked with residents via free drop in sessions in libraries, community centres and doctors’ surgeries.
"Our Digital Champions are an invaluable resource for the local community and are helping our residents to lead a better quality of life through the benefits of digital. In turn this engagement will help the whole borough to fulfil its digital ambitions.”
- Christopher Hutson Project Manager for Waltham Forest Digital Champions Network
The Nottinghamshire Digital Champions Network
This was launched as part of the County Council’s Better Broadband for Nottinghamshire Programme. Around 1 in 7 local residents had never used the internet and many more didn't have basic online skills.
As the Council was working to transform fibre broadband availability across the county they recognised the importance of ensuring their residents could make the most of a faster internet connection. Over 90 Champions were engaged from local communities who went on to help learners across the county in one to one and group support.
– Housing –
Clarion Housing Group
Digital Unite has been working with Clarion Housing Group, the largest housing association in the UK, for more than eight years. Their digital inclusion work is led by Clarion Futures, the charitable foundation of Clarion Housing Group, who currently have more than 120 Digital Champions. These Champions have delivered over 1000 teaching sessions in just one year. The Digital Champions use Clarion’s own community centres and communal spaces and link with local cafes, libraries and groups, to deliver digital skills support. One town centre computer café in Burgess Hill has alone helped more than 260 people with digital skills.
“At Clarion Futures, supporting digital champions is a key part of our digital inclusion strategy. Having the structured support of the Network is helping us to deliver support and training in every corner of our communities. Just as importantly, it gives us the tools and data to understand the difference they are making.”
- Stephanie Noyce, Head of Money and Digital at Clarion Futures
– Charities –
Age UK joined the Network as part of the national, Lottery funded One Digital programme. In the first year of the programme the Network trained and supported 160 volunteers in Oxfordshire and Leicestershire and Rutland who engaged and supported more than 1,200 older people. The Network was then used to support volunteers amongst other Age UK partners.
The team also worked with Digital Unite to co-create two Digital Champion training courses specifically aimed at engaging older people with digital skills. These courses are now widely available in the Network and rated as our most popular courses with 97% of Digital Champions recommending them to others.
“Older people are often the most reluctant of those who are offline and need to be inspired with digital technology in a way that is tailored to them. Being able to offer specific training courses on engaging older people has been a great way to support our own volunteers and also to share our learning and expertise amongst other organisations delivering digital skills support.”
- Sarah Parkes, Programme Manager for One Digital, Age UK
This is a charity in County Durham who provides support and housing to service users with a range of mental health needs aged between 18 and 70 years. The team there use digital technology to help people develop independent living and also to engage them with the support and help available. The charity used the Digital Champions Network to better equip their staff and volunteers to provide digital skills support, both in a group and on a one to one basis and to inspire confidence in using computers and the internet.