It’s a scientific fact that helping someone makes you feel good. The simple theory is that being generous, compassionate and selfless produces endorphins in the brain that boost positive emotions, otherwise known as Helper’s High. Better still, acts of kindness lower stress levels and can lead to better health and wellbeing.

In our world of digital skills and digital inclusion, we only have to glance over at the Digital Champions in our Network to see the Helper’s High in full glory.

Connect at Christmas banner

If you want to learn a little more about how you can connect people this Christmas and beyond then check out our new and free mini courses.

Fife Council has been firing up its digital skills support in the last month by enlisting over 140 new Digital Champions.

These new Digital Champions are all employees working across the Council and all signed up to help fellow colleagues and tenants develop their essential digital skills. As a Fife Digital Champion, they improve their own digital know-how through Digital Unite’s Digital Champions Network, our online training platform packed full of courses and resources.

Digital Unite is leading a new skills programme to help adults with mild or moderate learning disabilities into work and enable organisations to benefit from a thriving and valuable workforce.

There are an estimated 800,000 working age people with mild-to-moderate learning disabilities in the UK but only 17% are in work¹. The onset of Covid-19 means that people with learning disabilities are at further risk of being excluded from work opportunities due to the increasing reliance on digital skills, the move to remote working and rising unemployment.

Digital Champions Network home page100 people have donned new Digital Champion capes in recent months as they have been helping people to stay connected and stay informed during Covid-19.

Picture of Aishwarya who joined Digital Unite as a Digital ChampionThere's no doubt that the last few months have been, well, different.

Someone help another person with digital skills using skypeWe’ve been chatting with lots of our Digital Champions about how they provide digital skills support - whether that's remotely or face-to-face.

Here is a quick-fire round-up of some of the top tricks and tips...

When it comes to engaging people with digital technology, motivation has been a steadfast and stubborn barrier. This has been reflected in research many times over. Indeed, last year’s UK Consumer Digital Index from Lloyds showed that, of the 4.1 million people in the UK who are offline, three million (75%) had no interest in understanding the benefits the Internet can offer. Nearly half (47%) said that ‘nothing’ would get them to go online

Online learning on a keyboardOnline learning has been around for a long while but its popularity has exploded over the past few months as people use their time during lockdown to build their knowledge and skills. Indeed, Google has reported a 300 per cent rise in searches for the term ‘online courses’ since the pandemic took hold.

We hope that you'll find these guides useful - for yourself and for anyone that you are helping to stay connected.

Learners on a zoom call being helped with digital skills by Caspar the Digital Champions
Digital Champion Caspar, (pictured top middle), helping his learners with digital skills via Zoom

The Digital Champions (DCs) we support through our Digital Champions Network (DCN) cascade digital skills to peers within the workforce and in the community. In turn they support the development of digital skills with service users and customers.

Digital Champion Bill helping Debbie with digital skills
Digital Champion Bill helping Debbie with digital skills

Every Thursday afternoon at Leytonstone Library, Digital Champions, David and Bill, are busy helping local residents get to grips with technology and the internet.

CapgeminiDigital Unite (DU) is delighted to announce a collaboration with Capgemini, in a new programme that will help DU’s member organisations leverage their Digital Champion activities so they can reach more people with digital skills support.

Bath and North East Somerset Council logoBath and North East Somerset Council has joined Digital Unite’s Digital Champions Network as part of their drive to embrace a digital first future.

An independent 2-year evaluation[1] has shown that our Digital Champions Network (DCN) gives organisations the impetus (or fillip) to get digital inclusion started – providing them with the framework they need to drive forward digital skills programmes.

Our new Digital Health Champion Network trains volunteers and staff the easy way.

Developed in partnership with NHS Digital, the Network's online training and tools gives them the confidence and knowledge to help patients with using the internet.

Check out our infographic below to learn more.

Courses to train Digital ChampionsAn independent evaluation of our Digital Champions Network has shown that a resounding 97% of Digital Champions would recommend its training. Over 80% also agreed that the Network’s courses and resources has made them better at helping others with digital skills.

Digital Champions NetworkIf you’re planning a digital inclusion programme in 2020 you need to put Digital Champions at the heart of it. People with low or no digital skills need long term and regular support from someone they trust. A Digital Champion provides that.

Christmas ballsIt wouldn’t be Christmas without a festive look at the work we do, and what better perspective could we take than a celebration of our inspirational Digital Champions.

With over 2,400 currently being trained and supported in our Digital Champions Network we have got to know quite a few!

We know digital inclusion is a tricky beast. With stretched resources, competing priorities and a target audience that’s often based far and wide, the challenge can sometimes seem insurmountable. 

Swetha Papisetty receives her Digital Champion AwardSwetha Papisetty was named Digital Champion of the Year in our recent Achievement Awards 2019 and is a Digital Champion with housing provider, Poplar Harca in East London.