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UK-wide digital champions network launches, backed by £2 million

Home-based digital skills training will be given to elderly people and those with disabilities in a newly launched project.

One Digital is a UK initiative to improve digital literacy around the country, led by a consortium of six charities and training organisations, funded through £2 million from grant-giving organisation the Big Lottery Fund. These partner organisations will work on separate projects, but all will be involved with training digital champions to pass on their skills.

After plans for the scheme were announced in September last year, One Digital was launched in Edinburgh earlier this month, and its work is now underway.

One strand of the Lottery funding has gone to skills organisation Digital Unite. Assistive technology charity AbilityNet and housing association Affinity Sutton will work in partnership with Digital Unite to build a network of digital champions.

AbilityNet will support volunteers in becoming champions, who will then provide help to approximately 1,000 digitally excluded elderly and disabled people in their homes. Skills being passed on will include sending emails, using search engines, and online shopping and banking.

Other members of the One Digital consortium include Age UK, Citizens Online and the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO).

In a blog post celebrating the launch, programme director and chief executive of Digital Unite, Emma Weston, wrote: “One Digital is really profoundly different from digital skills projects that have gone before it”. Weston went on to highlight the crucial role that digital champions will play in the project, connecting with some of the 12 million people around the UK who do not use the internet.

There will also be a One Digital ‘support network’ with resources to help the digital champions in their work. The aim is for the project to recruit and train a total of 1,400 digital champions during 2016, who will then work with 9,500 digitally excluded people.

Read more about One Digital at the links below:

Short link:
http://bit.ly/20WJtie

Full link:
http://www.digitalchampionsnetwork.com/one-digital-programme .

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