The Digital Brighton & Hove project (DBH) provides innovative solutions and services for digitally excluded people across the city. Through cross-sector partnership work, we’re building a network of trained Digital Champions in local communities to support service users, staff and volunteers with their digital transformation journeys.
Glenn has worked as a Community Digital Champion with the Digital Brighton & Hove project for the past three years, and has helped hundreds of people with digital skills. He told us, “I am fortunate to come from a family that has always had an interest in technology. For example, we had the very first ‘home computer’, a UK 101, back in 1979!”
Running sessions, connecting people
Glenn helped local partners set up and run digital support sessions and digital gadget drop-ins. He also ran a popular six-week Internet Essentials course at Age UK, as well as one-off themed training sessions, and Digital Champion training.
While working with the project, Glenn helped an estimated 600 individuals with digital skills, from various backgrounds and in many different settings. Glenn enjoyed helping people with their digital skills, from helping a learner to reconnect with his family relatives to helping a learner to nurture a passion through digital means. He found that passing on any skill, digital or otherwise, was a very rewarding experience.
He recalls helping one lady in Mile Oak whose husband had recently passed away and whose only son lived in France. Glenn helped her set up a Skype account so that she could video chat with her son. She now regularly communicates with her family online and says how much of a difference this had made to her life, helping her feel a lot less isolated.
Glenn encourages others to become Digital Champions:
“It can be very rewarding seeing someone realise that they are not ‘too old’ or ‘stupid’ to do things online. Encouragement and praise are the keys to passing on any skill.”
Glenn’s top tips for other Digital Champions:
- “Show the learner how to do a specific task, then let them do it themselves and praise them. Seeing a look of achievement on their face is priceless!”
- “Do not be put off if someone is not immediately interested, this is often through fear, not a rejection of your offer of help.”
- “Don’t worry if you don’t know the answer to a question, it’s impossible for anyone to know the answer to everything. Don’t be afraid of looking up the answer online. This can not only comfort learners by letting them know that they are not the only ones that have something to learn, but also teaches them how to research online and therefore be more self-reliant.”
More about DBH
As of May 2019 the project has recruited 436 Digital Champions; delivered 6,944 digital skills support sessions; supported at least 4,503 individuals; engaged with 241 organisations. Read our final Evaluation and Impact report.
For more information about Digital Brighton & Hove, please contact David Scurr.
Notes to Editors:
About One Digital
One Digital is a collaborative digital inclusion programme developed by Age UK, Citizens Online, Clarion Futures (part of Clarion Housing Group), Digital Unite and the Scottish Council of Voluntary Organisations (SCVO). The partners deliver projects to help people benefit from being online through recruiting and training Digital Champions. These are trusted people in local places who can have received training to pass on digital skills in an informal, but safe and effective way.
We’re funded by the National Lottery Community Fund until 2020 to deliver digital skills support through Digital Champions, and share what we learn. The partners run projects where skills are needed, working with charities, libraries and organisations with expertise in areas such as housing, employment, older people, social care and local communities. The One Digital projects span the length and breadth of Great Britain, from Gwynedd to Kent and from Orkney to Brighton.
Our partners are experts in delivering quality digital inclusion projects and sharing learning and knowledge through the Community of Practice. The information and resources we develop are helping build effective community-based digital skills projects all across the UK. Our collaborative approach means that we can have an even bigger impact on people’s digital skills for life and work, as well as their confidence and motivation to get online.
The One Digital Partners
Age UK (ageuk.org.uk)
Age UK believes that everyone should have the opportunity to make the most of later life, whatever their circumstances.
One Digital Phase 2 will see multiple partners across regions transforming digital skills delivery for older people in areas with high digital exclusion. Delivered by local Age UK’s, older people will be supported to learn how digital skills can benefit them, for example by enabling them to keep in contact with loved ones, make savings by shopping online and pursue hobbies.
Citizens Online (citizensonline.org.uk)
Citizens Online is a UK charity committed to researching, addressing and promoting the issues of digital inclusion. In collaboration with a wide range of partners, Citizens Online has been specialising in digital inclusion, skills and service transformation since 2000.
For One Digital, Citizens Online is implementing its flagship ‘Switch’ model in 20 local authority areas — with funding from the National Lottery Community Fund, matched by contributions from partner organisations such as local authorities. Switch is based on years of delivery experience and research and helps organisations increase uptake of their digital service transformation. Switch is a programme of evidence gathering, action planning and partnership development. Citizens Online has already recruited over 750 Digital Champions and assisted over 8,000 people with basic digital skills as part of the One Digital Programme.
Clarion Futures ( www.clarionhg.com)
Clarion Futures is part of Clarion Housing Group and is a registered charitable foundation. We will invest £150 million over ten years to deliver one of the largest social investment programmes in the country. Our mission is to provide social housing residents with the support, skills and opportunities to transform their lives and communities for the better.
Digital Unite (digitalunite.com / digitalchampionsnetwork.com)
Digital Unite is one of the UK’s leading providers of digital skills learning and the only organisation that focuses exclusively on vocational training and support for Digital Champions.
For One Digital, Digital Unite facilitates the Digital Champion infrastructure for each partner project using their existing online train-the-trainer platform, the Digital Champions Network. The Network is an award-winning online platform that trains, supports and resources Digital Champions (DCs) to cascade learning within their organisations and to service users. Digital Unite is also supporting over 150 organisations from a wide variety of sectors with establishing their own local Digital Champion movements underpinned by the Network’s products and services.
The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is the membership organisation for Scotland’s charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises. A dedicated team is working across public, private and third sectors in Scotland to increase digital participation.
Their One Digital project will transform the Scottish third sector to become more digitally confident and capable. By creating a meaningful intervention at leadership, organisation and individual levels they will propel the third sector to the centre of the digital revolution.
The National Lottery Community Fund (tnlcommunityfund.org.uk)
We are the largest funder of community activity in the UK – we’re proud to award money raised by National Lottery players to communities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Since June 2004, we have made over 200,000 grants and awarded over £9 billion to projects that have benefited millions of people.
We are passionate about funding great ideas that matter to communities and make a difference to people’s lives. At the heart of everything we do is the belief that when people are in the lead, communities thrive. Thanks to the support of National Lottery players, our funding is open to everyone. We’re privileged to be able to work with the smallest of local groups right up to UK-wide charities, enabling people and communities to bring their ambitions to life.