Since 2020, Citizens Online has been working with North Yorkshire County Council and the seven district councils to build a county-wide approach to digital inclusion. We are helping local residents build digital skills and get access to technology, and supporting local organisations through partnership working and training. Our network of Digital Champion provides direct support to residents. We also work with Reboot North Yorkshire and other local partners to provide access to technology.

Our offer includes:

Support for organisations

  • A partnership approach to digital inclusion across the county
  • Regular network meetings
  • Sharing best practice and digital inclusion focused resources
  • Consultancy support with digital inclusion projects
  • Training and support for staff who provide digital skills help

Support for learners

  • Freephone digital skills helpline
  • Tailored support from trained Digital Champions
  • Tablet loan scheme
  • Access to laptops and other digital devices through partnerships with local tech recycling schemes

A partnership approach to digital inclusion in North Yorkshire

We’re grateful for the ongoing support of a number of organisations, including North Yorkshire County Council, Craven District Council, Selby District Council, Scarborough Borough Council, Ryedale District Council, Richmondshire District Council, Hambleton District Council and Harrogate Borough Council.

“During the lockdown, I couldn’t be out volunteering in the community because of family members shielding. I thought if I can do something remotely with computers, why not get involved? Catherine (North Yorkshire Digital Champion Coordinator) organised online training and web chats with other volunteers. The training is a fantastic opportunity to get more information on how to engage with digital novices.”

Richard, volunteer Digital Champion, North Yorkshire
Photograph showing volunteer Digital Champions
Volunteer Digital Champions at a digital skills event at Ripley Castle, June 2021

Impact in numbers

As of July 2021 the project has:

  • Developed a network of 50+ organisations with people engaged in all aspects of digital inclusion, leadership and transformation
  • Recruited 130+ Digital Champions
  • Supported at least 3,700+ unique individuals
  • Delivered 2,000+ sessions of digital skills support, including:
  • 133 support calls totalling 28 hours, delivered by a team of 6 volunteer Digital Champions
  • Developed partnership projects to address with areas of specific need, such as people affected by domestic violence and learners for whom English is an additional language.

Our Digital Champion Coordinator, Catherine Dearden, has been instrumental in distributing tablet devices to North Yorkshire residents. Catherine and the team of Digital Champions provide ongoing support to those who have received the tablets.

“Sylvia was marvellous, she got me going on my tablet. We’ve done a lot of laughing! I find it quite difficult, but I’ve done my shopping on my own this week – and I’m proud of myself. Without Sylvia I don’t know what I would have done. She’s been brilliant.”

Sandra, learner in North Yorkshire, describes her experience of working with Sylvia, volunteer digital champion.
Read more about Sandra’s story.

Case studies

Blogs, news and reports about digital inclusion in North Yorkshire

A summary of our partnership working approach in North Yorkshire:

Community First North Yorkshire article on digital inclusion:

Local press articles on the digital inclusion project:

Get online and help prevent loneliness, Harrogate Advertiser

Online plan to counter loneliness in Yorkshire, The Scarborough News

IT buddy scheme helps Northallerton residents keep pace with technology, Darlington & Stockton Times

Contact us

Contact our Digital Champion Coordinator for North Yorkshire, Catherine Dearden, for more information: loading...