One Digital – creating digital champions across the Third Sector

February 18, 2016 by No Comments | Category Digital Participation

This is a guest post by Beth Murphy, One Digital Project Manager, SCVO

On Thursday 11th February we launched One Digital – a new project funded by The Big Lottery Fund and led by SCVO to support people from across society who struggle with Basic Digital Skills.

We know that 72% people who lack basic digital skills say that the main reason they are not online is because they are not interested, – they don’t know what the internet could do for them. We also know that people who are not online find it more difficult to apply for jobs, benefits and often face other forms of exclusion.

Trusted intermediaries, working as Digital Champions, have been shown to make a real difference to the confidence of people currently not participating in the online world. If someone you trust introduces you to new tools, websites and skills you are more likely to listen, and to get the ongoing support you need.

Our project is part of a wider consortium working with Digital Unite, Citizens Online, Ability Net and Affinity Sutton. We are each running distinct programmes, but have a common thread that connects us- the Digital Champion. All of our projects are supporting people who are trusted in their communities to acquire and pass on basic digital skills.

SCVO is focusing on the basic digital skills of the third sector, and looking at three different models which will support staff and volunteers, and have an impact on end users.

Making Digital Work: With the help of an anchor organisation (usually the Third Sector Interface) we will identify 10 organisations in every local authority area to participate in face-to-face and online training. This will aim to improve the Basic Digital Skills of the staff and volunteers in the organisation. These participants will form a network of ‘Digital Champions’ and receive support from our Development officers to identify areas for improvement and delivering changes in their organisation.

For example, a project manager from a community allotment project decides to set up a Facebook group to collect photos of volunteers’ horticultural achievements.

Making Digital Everyday: With the help of an anchor organisation we will identify frontline staff/volunteers with good digital skills from 10 different organisations in each local authority area. These participants will be supported through face-to-face and online training, to then pass their skills on to the people they are already working with. These participants will also join the ‘Digital Champion’ network and receive support to help their organisation pass on basic digital skills to their end users.

For example, an employment support worker might decide to routinely support clients to set up a LinkedIn profile.

Making Digital Leaders: This stream will support CEOs and Senior Staff who are keen to transform the way their organisation embraces and makes the most of Digital. Three action learning sets will meet on a monthly basis over the course of the project and support Senior Leaders to tackle the complex strategic and operational challenges that they face together.

The project is now up and running, with the first training sessions and action learning sets taking place at the end of February. The Big Lottery Fund have given us the space to run this programme as a ‘test and learn’ – we really want to understand what works and use this knowledge to help design and develop digital participation support for the future.

As the network of digital champions and organisations grows we will be able to link together the other great projects and initiatives that are running in this area. This will include the Digital Participation Charter – a way of keeping the support and network alive.

For more information about the project, and to find out how to get involved visit or visit to watch the short video.

We’ll be sharing updates on this, and much more on social, so follow the team via @digitalscots for more updates. Want to comment? Get in touch below!


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