Being able to use a computer, a smart phone and the internet has become key for accessing services and staying connected.
But not everyone can get online or knows how to use the web so Kent County Council (KCC) is looking to expand its network of Digital Champions to help charge up the cyber skills of our communities.
To volunteer to be a Digital Champion you don’t have to be a technical genius, but you do need to be patient, understanding and a strong communicator. You also need to be over 18 years old and willing to support someone with their online know-how and confidence so they can:
- Set up an email account and send emails
- Use online GP booking services
- Discover the benefits of online shopping and banking
- Use social tools and apps like Zoom and Microsoft TEAMS, and
- Use a phone, tablet, laptop to other digital devise.
There is no strict commitment and champions can support family, friends, colleagues and the wider community in any of the following:
- one-to-one sessions
- group training and presentations, or
- by creating handy guides and other useful materials for the Digital Kent website.
In parallel, volunteers are supported to develop their own CPD-certified training skills and knowledge.
Kent County Council Leader Roger Gough said: “Digital technology has become a fundamental part of life. Accelerated by the pandemic, online is now a key way to use important services, such as healthcare and banking, keep in touch with family and friends, learn, watch news, TV and movies, and shop.
“But we know from various research surveys that this increasing reliance on technology is leaving some people who have no access to a computer, or the skills or the confidence to go online, excluded.
“That’s why we want to keep developing our current network of 115 Digital Champions and help tackle this digital inequality.
“If you feel you have the skills to help someone in Kent get to grips with digital, please do apply. Visit the Digital Kent website to find out more and register your interest here: www.kent.gov.uk/digitalchampions”
Set up in 2021 as part of the Helping Hands COVID support scheme, Digital Kent received an initial £2.5 million to tackle digital exclusion in Kent. The programme was awarded a further £2.5m from the Contain Outbreak Management Fund.
You can read more about the initiative and its wide range of partners at www.digitalkent.uk/information/projects
And, if being a Digital Champion is not for you, take time this national Volunteers’ Week to check out lots of other volunteering opportunities in Kent here