Launched in 2015, Digital Brighton & Hove (DBH) is one of our flagship projects and a great example of our Switch approach in practice.
What started as a request from Brighton & Hove City Council for some research and evaluation into digital exclusion soon evolved into the development of a local digital support ecosystem based on cross-sector partnership work.
The project continues to provide innovative solutions for digitally excluded people, and works increasingly to support local organisations with their digital transformation journeys.
Impact in numbers
As of May 2019, the project has:
- Developed a partner network of 240+ organisations and 1000+ people engaged in digital inclusion
- Recruited 436 Digital Champions
- Supported at least 4,500 unique individuals
- Delivered 6,950+ sessions of digital skills support
- Created a bespoke signposting website
Why Brighton & Hove?
Known as a vibrant, rapidly-growing creative and digital tech hub, many see Brighton & Hove as a surprising choice for a Digital Inclusion project. While the Get Digital Heatmap states that the “likelihood of overall digital exclusion is low” as “84% of adults in Brighton and Hove [are estimated to] have all five Basic Digital Skills”, this still leaves 16% of the adult population without basic digital skills.
Our experience working on digital inclusion projects in over 50 areas across the UK tells us that there are pockets of digital exclusion everywhere — whether people lack connectivity, access, skills, confidence or the motivation to get online — and Brighton & Hove has proved to be no different.
Partner case studies:
- Seniors Housing Schemes: Helping older people become more digitally confident
- Brighton Unemployed Centre Families Project volunteers get trained up
- The impact of Digital Champions working in the council’s Customer Service Centre
Working with DBH has been a real success in our schemes. The number of people who have come to the digital workshops and become more digitally aware has exceeded our expectations […] As a result of the success with DBH we took the decision to introduce free WiFi 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
Case studies from service users:
- Helping people in YMCA supported accommodation to share their stories – digitally
- 88 year-old Sylvie learns to get online – and loves it
- Another success story: Giorgio reconnects with his brother online
Your involvement has really prompted me to try and get to grips with using digital better; I now feel really confident to admin the Facebook page and am now using it actively and in ways I wasn’t before!
– Georgia Leigh, Service Manager, YMCA Evolve
Case studies from Digital Champions:
- Our Community Digital Champion Josie has fun helping people do more online
- Peter’s story: being a volunteer Digital Champion
- Our Community Digital Champion Glenn has worked with a lot of people (over 600!)
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.
– BHCC Revenues & Benefits Officer
Phase 1 (2015-2017): Big Lottery Fund (One Digital Programme), Brighton & Hove City Council, BT
Phase 2 (2017-2019): National Lottery Community Fund (One Digital Programme), Brighton & Hove City Council
Phase 3 (2019-2020): Brighton & Hove City Council, Community Works, Centre for Acceleration of Social Technology (CAST)
To find out more or get involved, email the DBH Project Manager, David Scurr: firstname.lastname@example.org