Digital technology is at the heart of how public life functions now. While it has become integral to all aspects of social economics, many people remain digitally excluded. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), in 2019 there were 4.8 million adults in the UK, or 9% of the adult UK population, who had either never used the internet or not used it in the last three months.
Kent County Council and Medway Council are working together to provide solutions to the issue of digital exclusion, both on a short-term and long-term basis. This includes piloting a digital loan scheme and setting up a network of volunteer Digital Champions to support those who use the loan scheme but lack digital skills and/or confidence.
Digital Champions are volunteers trained to support learners with essential digital skills and build their confidence to use technology safely. They can support individuals on a 1-2-1 basis either remotely (during COVID) and/or face to face.
You don’t need to be a technical whizz to be a Digital Champion, but you do need to be very patient, have good empathy and excellent communication skills. Many learners may have never used the internet before and could be vulnerable. Your role is to support them and ensure that they have a positive experience with technology.
Being a Digital Champion can be very rewarding. You’ll have a good knowledge of digital skills, but first and foremost you’ll be passionate about helping others. You’ll have a friendly and approachable nature and be comfortable working with people from diverse backgrounds. You will also be enthusiastic about digital technology and the benefits it can bring to society.
You’ll be supported in your role by the Digital Inclusion Coordinator (Contact details at the bottom). You will be required to have a DBS check, cost covered by us. You’ll receive accredited CPD training and be invited to network with other volunteer Digital Champions to share successes and best practice.
- Provide digital skills support to learners over the phone, and face to face in the future
- Promote digital skills development and confidence with your learners.
- Keep a record of your sessions with learners on a tracking spreadsheet.
- Communicate regularly with the Digital Inclusion Coordinator who will make sure you are happy and supported in your role.
- Report any issues to the Digital Inclusion Coordinator – refraining from getting involved personally in a learner’s problems that aren’t digital in nature.
- Passionate about helping people
- Patience and empathy in supporting people get online
- Enthusiasm about digital skills, tools and services
- Ability to communicate effectively over the phone, digitally, and in person with a variety of service users
- Ability to adapt your communication style to suit the learner
- Sensitivity and compassion around societal inequality, exclusion or discrimination
- Each Digital Champion will need to flexibly commit their time to the project. During the pilot phase, demand for Digital Champions may be less frequent however this may change as the project develops.
- Each Digital Champion will provide the Digital Inclusion Coordinator an indication of their time/availability to allow the Coordinator to allocate support to end users accordingly.
- Digital Champion Essentials online training module (Digital Champions Network)
- Helping people remotely
- Other modules on the Digital Champions Network as appropriate
To register as a volunteer please complete this form:
For further information or if you would like a discussion about the Digital Champion role please email Digitalinclusion@medway.gov.uk