Case Study: Volunteer Digital Champion

At Citizens Online, we use the term ‘Digital Champion’ to refer to people who help others understand the benefits of using the internet and can show them how to do simple things online. We believe Digital Champions can make a huge difference to people’s lives.
Peter Greenfield has been volunteering on the Digital Brighton & Hove project since October 2016 on an ad hoc basis.

With over 40 years’ experience working in IT in technical and management roles, Peter was keen to start doing some volunteering as he reached retirement. As a Volunteer Digital Champion, he assists older people using smart phones and tablets, while also providing occasional help with Windows or Apple Laptops or PCs. Continue Reading Case Study: Volunteer Digital Champion

11 recommended resources for understanding digital accessibility

We’ve been looking at the whole area of accessibility: what it means, who it’s for, how designers and managers can ensure their products are accessible, and what the latest trends are. There’s a mountain of great content out there on accessibility, from engaging introductions for a general audience, to technical debates between the experts at the sharp end of coding and advocating for maximum accessibility.

So this post is just a small selection of some of the resources we have found useful to learn from as we work — and we hope you will find them helpful too. Continue Reading 11 recommended resources for understanding digital accessibility

The Citizens Online website redesign

This website and our social media accounts have been updated to reinforce our identity as digital inclusion experts, and to help us communicate more confidently about what we do and why we do it.

This blog post introduces the new site to the world, and explains some of the design and technical decisions we made. It has been quite a long process but now we are ready to launch! Continue Reading The Citizens Online website redesign

Our Partnerships with Housing Providers

A row of brown-brick houses, with bay windows, and small bushes in front along a pavement.

Citizens Online have experience and expertise in guiding social housing providers to develop strategies and action plans for digital inclusion. We have worked with: Glasgow Housing Association, Clarion Housing Group, Paragon and Sanctuary Housing, Plymouth Community, North Hertfordshire, Staffordshire Rural Homes, and Viridian.

Frontline housing association staff can act as Digital Champions, showing residents how they can find what they need online. Staff can also signpost to other sources of support, access and training for digital skills. Continue Reading Our Partnerships with Housing Providers

New digital inclusion partnership in Kent!

A man standing at the front a room full of people, gesturing with both arms. He is stood in front of a presentation slide titled "Activity highlights: Communications and outreach"

We’re working with a consortium of housing providers across Kent, to enable residents to use the internet and develop their digital skills.

The consortium includes Town & Country Housing Group, Orbit, West Kent Housing Association and Golding Homes. The work is being part-funded by the Big Lottery Fund as part of a programme of work called One Digital.

The overall aim of the new partnership is to improve tenants’ basic digital skills, and their confidence to access online opportunities and services. Almost half of those who are digitally excluded live in social housing. Continue Reading New digital inclusion partnership in Kent!

Case Study: Professional Digital Champion

Rachel Martin and an elderly woman laughing while facing each other over a tablet, at a cafe table

Rachel Martin has been working as a professional Digital Champion for Citizens Online as part of the Digital Gwynedd project since July 2017. She says, “It’s really satisfying getting [isolated people] on Skype and email, then seeing them later on attaching photos to their emails without thinking about it.” Continue Reading Case Study: Professional Digital Champion

Digital Brighton and Hove

Four people smiling in front of banner with visible text "more online"

Launched in 2015, Digital Brighton & Hove is one of our flagship projects and a great example of our Switch approach in practice.

The project provides innovative solutions and services for digitally excluded people, and work to support staff and volunteers in other organisations with their digital transformation journeys. Continue Reading Digital Brighton and Hove

Digital Gwynedd

Photo of 11 men and 5 women of various ages in suits in front of Digital Gwynedd banner reading "explore more online"

Citizens Online has been working in Gwynedd since 2011. Digital Gwynedd has developed significantly over this time and today our hugely successful project and the value of the work has been recognised by both Gwynedd Council, who have provided match funding and an award nomination and runner up prize in the WCVA 2018 Third Sector Awards.

Digital Gwynedd is one of our flagship projects, and really shows what our Switch model can achieve. Continue Reading Digital Gwynedd

Our Partnerships with Local Authorities

photo of a laptop on a table showing the word 'inclusion'

The pressure to save money is acute for Local Authorities. Citizens Online has extensive experience in developing localised, cross‐sector partnerships to ensure sustainable digital inclusion provision. Our experience suggests that digital inclusion needs to be embedded into service provision.

Local Authorities have much to gain from a joined‐up, partnership‐based approach to digitally‐enabled citizens. Continue Reading Our Partnerships with Local Authorities

Our Partnerships with Businesses

Partners in the Get IT Together Project in Leeds

Citizens Online has partnered with businesses since our early days, when Microsoft sponsored us to produce a report on Corporate Social Responsibility in the IT sector. We began a long‐standing partnership with BT in 2002 to tackle the growing inequalities around internet use. That partnership has led to in‐depth support for over 50 communities. Businesses can have an important role in promoting digital inclusion and skills. Continue Reading Our Partnerships with Businesses