21st November, 2019 by Katharinet

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. 

But good digital inclusion and digital skills is vital; for your business, for your staff and for your service users. Let’s face it, if you want to invest in technology to improve your organisation you need to invest in your people, so they have the skills to use it. And by now we are all aware of the positive and life-changing benefits being online can bring people personally.   

Our Digital Champions Network was launched seven years ago and to date has supported hundreds of organisations with improving digital participation. These organisations recognise the benefits of scale and sustainability that a Digital Champion approach offers, whether that be for residents, service users or staff.

The Network and all that it provides has been iterated and re-iterated over the years, based on what our members and their Digital Champions tell us and how they use it. It’s no silver bullet, we get that. However, when 88% of people tell us they are better Champions because of our training, and members tell us ‘it’s improved the way their organisation approaches digital inclusion’ we know it makes a difference. Here’s how it can make a difference for you.

  1. It launches your maiden Digital Champion journey

Workplace leafletOur members call our Network 'a solid foundation', 'a safety net', 'a much needed platform and structure'. Call it what you will this online platform provides the starting block for digital transformation when you’re faced with countless options, limited budgets and a lack of ideas. We have bite-sized, CPD-accredited project manager courses that guide you through the whole process of setting up a Digital Champion programme, from making the case internally to recruiting Digital Champions and promoting their support. There is also a toolkit with role descriptions, volunteer policies, induction ideas and editable leaflets. You don’t have start from scratch and it really does get your Digital Champion juices flowing.

  1. Our training has been designed by experts

Age UK courseAnd we’re not just talking about ourselves here. Much of our online training has been developed in partnership with subject matter experts who know a thing or two about particular groups of learners. Excuse the namecheck but we’ve worked with Age UK on engaging older people, with AbilityNet on overcoming accessibility barriers and UNISON on supporting casual workers with digital payslips. All of this first-hand insight and more has been poured into the Network’s training that you’ll get as standard as one of our members. And with CPD accreditation and digital badges to boot, it makes your project look professional and is an enticing offer for potential Digital Champions.

  1. The support evolves as technology evolves

Screengrab of guides landing pageDid you know that since the Network was launched in 2013 the iPhone has gone from iPhone 5 to iPhone 11 Pro Max with 18 versions in between? And Windows’ operating system has evolved from 7.0 to 8.0 and now to 10?  The point is that technology is constantly on the move and so is our Network. We have over 400 how-to guides to help everyone, from the complete beginner to the more advanced users. We keep adding to our collection to keep pace with technology, giving you a ready-made, up-to-date bank of resources that you and your Champions can refer to over and over again.  

  1. It is reporting magic

Project admin pageWhen running a digital inclusion project, it can often be all about the numbers and showing people, particularly senior managers, what’s been happening and where.  As a project manager in the Network you get your own dashboard with your own numbers – how many Digital Champions you have, who they are, what they’ve been learning, who they’ve been helping and how. You can download this information at the click of a button and turn it into reports and presentations until your heart’s content. It means less time spent on administration and more time planning your next move on your project. Or simply just taking a lunch break.

  1. Our membership is tailor-made to fit

Large or small, our Digital Champions Network can fit around your organisation and your needs. Small community organisations who just want to train half a dozen volunteers? Tick. Local councils who need to support their staff as well as residents? Tick. Large charities with regional branches that need both a national and local perspective? Tick. Our membership packages and project set ups are highly flexible because we know that your organisation is different from everybody else’s. Try us.

Want to find out a little more?

Between now and 20 January 2020 we’re offering a 20% discount off our Network premium membership so there has never been a better time to join. For an informal chat or a no-obligation online tour of the Network call Kathy on 0800 228 9272 or email Kathy.valdes@digitalunite.com.