After two years of active local cross-sector partnership work, we’re pleased to present our Digital Brighton & Hove Evaluation and Impact Report which highlights the key statistics, achievements and challenges of the past 2 years.
Building on the successful delivery of digital inclusion objectives in Phase 1, Phase 2 of the Digital Brighton & Hove project was commissioned for a further two years running from June 2017 to May 2019, funded by Brighton & Hove City Council and the National Lottery Community Fund (as part of the wider One Digital Programme).
Following a successful wrap-up network meeting last April, this report brings together monthly monitoring and evaluation findings from the past 2 years, reflections from our Project Manager David Scurr and a range of case studies.
We hope you find the results of interest and that this report serves as a timely reminder that complex social challenges must be tackled through proactive collaboration across all sectors.
OUR IMPACT: IN NUMBERS
As of May 2019, the project has:
- Engaged with 241+ organisations and 1000+ professionals
The Switch model of digital inclusion that Citizens Online promotes through the Digital Brighton and Hove project emphasises the development of strong, local partnerships. We’re delighted with the progress made in Brighton & Hove, where a total of 241 organisations have been engaged – exceeding the target by 24%.
- Recruited 436 Digital Champions
The level of engagement with organisations has enabled the project to exceed its target for recruitment of Digital Champions (DCs), having recruited 436 Digital Champions and successfully training 70% of them right up to the end of Phase 2.
- Supported at least 4,503 unique individuals
The core purpose of the Digital Brighton and Hove work is to help people improve their digital skills. We want to celebrate the fact that the project has helped at least 4,503 people based on recording on the Digital Champions Network and provided to us by partner organisations.
- Delivered 6,944+ sessions of digital skills support
Sessions took place at venues across the BHCC area, with a particular focus on the city centre, and further concentrations in Whitehawk, north Portslade, Hangleton, Moulsecoomb, and Kemptown. The majority (62.5%) took place in neighbourhoods (Lower Super Output Areas or LSOAs) that are among the 50% most deprived in England. Nearly one-third (31.1%) of sessions were with people living in the most deprived 20% of LSOAs in England.
OUR IMPACT: CASE STUDIES
Our final Evaluation and Impact Report features case studies of volunteers, community Digital Champions, service users and partnership work with local organisations. Below, we include snippets of these stories which you can enjoy reading in separate blogs.
Partner case studies
“The number of people who have come along to the gadget workshops and become more digitally aware has exceeded our expectations […] As a result of the success with Digital Brighton and Hove we took the decision to introduce free wi-fi to the communal lounges to encourage more of our residents to make the step of going online.”
Peter Huntbach, Services Manager, Seniors Housing, Brighton and Hove City Council
Read our case study: Working together to help older people become more digitally confident
“The Digital Champions Network has been a vital resource for our digital support team at Brighton Unemployed Centre Families Project (BUCFP). It is used by both staff and volunteers to aid our drop-in digital inclusion project. […] Having such a comprehensive resource available to us, for free, has enabled our volunteers and staff to feel confident when offering digital support. Last year our volunteers provided 400 (3h) drop-in digital support sessions to over 600 people.”
Alex Pritchard, Volunteer Coordinator, BUCFP
Read our case study: Brighton Unemployed Centre Families Project trains 14 volunteers using the Digital Champions Network
“The Digital Champion training was really useful to learn about the free online resources that are available and to think about how to engage people to get online. It helped to discuss case scenarios where we might be able to signpost a customer to an online service.”
Brighton & Hove City Council Revenues & Benefits Officer
Read our case study: Digital Champion work in council’s Customer Service Centre
Case studies from services users
“Please do come back! We have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know new digital tricks and getting to know you”.
Learner, via YMCA Evolve’s Facebook page
Read our case study: Helping people in supported accommodation to share their stories using digital tools
“My sessions with Josie (Community Digital Champion) has given me more interests, more contact and taken away loneliness […] I consider myself extremely fortunate to have Josie’s help […] I think the internet is amazing!”
Read more about how 88 year-old Sylvie learns to get online
“You’d be surprised what you can do and find online…it was amazing to find my brother after so many years!”
Read how Giorgio reconnected with his brother online
Case studies from Digital Champions
“Never underestimate how supporting others can help you grow […] You don’t need to be a tech whizz, just some basic skills, a bucketload of patience and a desire to help others.”
Josie Jeffery, Community Digital Champion
Read our case study: Community Digital Champion helps service users and staff to get online
“I believe that good communication is just as important, if not more so, than assisting with the technology.”
Peter Greenfield, Volunteer Digital Champion
Read more about how Peter Greenfield has become a Digital Champion
We’re excited to be building on the successful partnership work from the past 3 years by working in collaboration with Brighton and Hove City Council, Community Works and the Centre for Acceleration of Social Technology from June 2019 to June 2020.
This next phase (Phase 3) will focus on:
- Developing an effective cross-sector network of digital peer support to help improve the digital skills and capability of social sector organisations
- Developing an alternative governance structure for Digital Brighton & Hove to ensure longer-term sustainability
- Carrying on to ensure that digital support provision in local communities is joined up and effective
More information regarding Phase 3 activities will be announced soon. In the meantime, read our blog ‘Towards a more digitally confident third sector’ to find out what’s already happened this year.
Read the full PDF Digital Brighton & Hove Evaluation and Impact Report from Phase 2