17th June, 2020 by Katharinet

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

But, in amongst it all, around 70 people have become new Digital Champions to help family, friends and neighbours stay informed and stay connected during the Covid-19 pandemic, with a little help from our free training on the Digital Champions Network.

Here we chatted to one of those Digital Champions, Aishwarya Sundaram.

Aishwarya arrives in the UK.

You've recently arrived in the UK, and visited your local Library in Bexley South London, to offer your time to help people access the Internet and be able to use their laptop / table / phone. You've even been buddied with a partner and you're raring to go.

Then lock-down happens! What do you do? Well, you could sit at home, do some home schooling, look after the family and sit tight. But not Aishwarya Sundaram. She's done that and more! A Computer Science graduate with several years of experience she wanted to put that knowledge to practical use.

How she because interested in Digital Championing

Her husband had signed up to be Digital Champion in April and had casually mentioned to Aishwarya that it might be something she would be interested in and could certainly contribute to.

So Aishwarya applied to Digital Unite and got stuck into the training on the Digital Champions Network. She took several courses, attended a Webinar and then got in touch with her retired Mother in India.

Helping her family remotely

Although both parents had mobile phones, they had never felt comfortable banking online, paying bills, paying credit cards because of their concerns over safety.

Aishwarya then decided to show them how to use these services by using WhatsApp video services on their laptops. She took them through how to stay safe online and what to look out for.

From there on Aishwarya set up a WhatsApp group for her In-Laws, Uncles and Aunties! So, there is now a large group of Aishwarya's family who have new found freedoms whilst still in lock-down.

What did she particularly liked about the Digital Unite training?

 “I found the training [on the Digital Champions Network] excellent.  I particularly liked the self-service supportive teaching, and the interactive quizzes that helped maintain interest. The Chat support facility was really helpful for those times I got stuck and needed a fast reply to a question”.

What was the highlight of helping friends and family?

“The highlight of helping my family has been the fact that the crisis situation has made them understand the necessity of being able to do financial things online, and now they feel comfortable doing this and they now know how to protect themselves!”

Build your Digital Champion skills with us

If you're helping people with digital skills during Covid-19 then you could join our Digital Champions Network, for free! More information and how to apply is here