Nottinghamshire County Council

The Nottinghamshire Digital Champions Network (NDCN) was launched in May 2015 as part of the County Council’s Better Broadband for Nottinghamshire Programme.

Around 1 in 7 local residents have never used the internet and many more don’t have basic online skills.

As the Council was working to transform fibre broadband availability across the county they recognized the importance of ensuring their residents could make the most of a faster internet connection.

Increasing digital participation across Nottinghamshire

  • 94 Champions recruited in two years
  • 88% found the courses and resources on the DCN to be good or very good
  • “The learning resources and course content is excellent and has given me great confidence.”
  • Dozens of learners helped across the county in one to one and group support
  • “As Janet was impressed with what I could show her and how easy it was she has now signed herself up to be a Digital Champion.”
  • Working in partnership with organisations and community partners across the county including district, parish and town councils and local CVS groups.

Such has been the success of the NDCN we’re committing further investment

Nottinghamshire Digital Champion, Hugh Evans, helped the residents at Lark Hill Retirement Village learn how to get the most out of life online.

Christine, in her 70s, had barely used a keyboard and didn’t know anything about the internet until she met Hugh. Hugh set up an e-mail account for Christine and got her to participate in a Skype call with his friend in Aberdeen. Following this, Christine took her first steps in online shopping.

Hugh said: “I worked in the IT industry for over 45 years and when I retired I was keen to find a volunteer role where I could use my knowledge and experience to give something back to my local community. Joining the Nottinghamshire Digital Champions Network was the perfect way to this; it means I can share my passion for the internet to help others and I also get to learn new things myself through the Network’s training and support.”

The Nottinghamshire Digital Champions Network has provided us with a cost effective and flexible approach to building new local capacity that can deliver meaningful digital engagement. We have been delighted to see the ongoing growth in the Network over the last two years and the different ways our Champions have had or are working to have a demonstrable impact in their local communities.

“Now, with such an established and successful Digital Champion model and an enthusiastic volunteer community, we will be working to ensure that this support is made even more accessible to those who need it most. We are looking forward to working with Digital Unite over the coming 12 months to further extend the reach of the programme and help many more residents with developing their digital skills and confidence.”

- Steven Adams, Broadband Engagement Officer, Nottinghamshire County Council