A new, collaborative programme to train hundreds of Digital Champions to help thousands of people across the UK to get online has been officially launched today (11 February 2016).

At a time when the UK is moving to ‘digital by default’ but over 12 million people lack basic digital skills¹, One Digital is a unique collaboration between six diverse organisations to create a sustainable and far reaching digital inclusion solution.

Age UK, the Scottish Council of Voluntary Organisations, Citizens Online and Digital Unite with its partners Affinity Sutton and AbilityNet have joined forces to develop the One Digital programme which will recruit, train and support 1,400 Digital Champions nationwide.

Funded with £2 million from the Big Lottery Fund, the programme will help around 9,500 people develop basic digital skills and reach a cross-sector of society including those with disability and accessibility needs, young adults looking for work, the over 65s, and third sector organisations and their beneficiaries. 

As a new One Digital Infographic demonstrates, Digital Champions are an effective tool in today’s digital inclusion landscape where those who aren’t online are now becoming harder to engage and need personal long-term support. Indeed 77% of those offline cite lack of interest as their main barrier² and 26% of computer beginners do not use their new digital skills without ongoing help³.

With 81% of learners rating their Digital Champion support as good or excellent⁴ and 9 out of 10 Digital Champions saying they made a difference to getting people online⁵, providing effective Digital Champion training and support can have a huge positive effect in engaging people with today’s digital society.

Each Partner will deliver individual and bespoke projects but all of the Digital Champions within the One Digital programme will access one single training and support network that provides structured courses, extensive resources and dedicated mentor support.

Underpinning the network will be a range of evaluation tools to capture essential impact data right across the partnership. The collaboration will also enable the partners to share learnings so that best practice models can be delivered for the benefit of all Digital Champions and end-learners.

Emma Weston, Programme Director for One Digital said: “Over the last two or three years, the digital inclusion space had changed significantly. It is no longer in question that digital skills are essential but the digital skills issue can no longer be solved by third parties working in isolation.

“The One Digital partners have come together to pool our collective reach, expertise and skill to achieve a greater impact in the delivery of digital skills.  Experience and evidence have shown us that empowering, supporting and inspiring people in our communities to be Digital Champions is a highly effective and sustainable way to deliver digital skills. The One Digital programme will provide the vital rigour and infrastructure to the Digital Champion proposition so that meaningful digital inclusion can be achieved for everyone across society, now and for the long term.”

All of the information about One Digital is available at www.digitalchampionsnetwork.com/one-digital



Notes to editors

¹Go ON UK 2015

² BBC Media Literacy - Understanding Digital Capabilities 2014

³ Two year longitudinal research study from Citizens Online – April 2015

⁴ Review of Hyde Plus Getting Online 2014/15 by Citizens Online

⁵ A telephone survey amongst Affinity Sutton Digital Champions, January 2015


For further information, case studies and interviews please contact:

Digital Unite and One Digital overview

Katharine Teed Katharine.teed@digitalunite.com    07801 138383

Age UK

Sara Guy Sara.Guy@ageuk.org.uk                     020 3033 1430

Citizens Online

Laura Simpson laura.simpson@citizensonline.org.uk

Scottish Council of Voluntary Organisations

Rebecca Stafford rebecca.stafford@scvo.org.uk

Affinity Sutton

Lucy Pond  Lucy.Pond@affinitysutton.com           


Mairead Comerford mairead.comerford@abilitynet.org.uk

Big Lottery Fund

Mike Clarke Mike.Clarke@biglotteryfund.org.uk

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