The Digital Inclusion project aims to give members of the community access to technology and train them in basic skills/software packages. Access to technology, skills deficit, and technophobia, have all been identified as barriers preventing digital inclusion in Hertfordshire and West Essex. This project hopes to overcome these barriers, and is aimed at those who are shielding due to COVID-19.
Equipment and Connectivity
- CHH collects redundant IT equipment, wipes any existing memory, and reimages it before giving it to those in need.
- Individual cases are identified using a needs matrix, that allows marginalised groups, BAME communities and those most in need to be prioritised.
- Schools and the VCS network also identify families and individuals with specific digital needs.
- Equipment is gifted or loaned to individuals with the opportunity to purchase (for a nominal amount).
Skills and Confidence Building
- The coordinator will link those on the programme with appropriate technology training opportunities.
- Trained Digital Champions will provide 1:1 telephone support to those receiving equipment. These Champions will be given 8 training courses per year.
- The voluntary Champions help to set users up and give them the basic skills needed to access online services, including further online training.
- Broxbourne and East Herts and Community Action Dacorum offer online training to support users with key software packages, including Microsoft packages, and online shopping / banking.
Case Study: 27/01/20 - Jane
Jane came into the Community Hub on Leeming Road during the IT for Beginners Session. She knows how to use a computer and just wanted a refresh on how to use email. She has had a stroke and could not remember her password for her old email address. I managed to help her setup a new email address and talked her through sending and receiving emails and attaching pictures to emails. She had her old email address written down and I managed to help her to successfully reset the password so that she could access her existing emails from her old address.
Case Study: 08/02/20 - Neriman
A past learner, Neriman came into the Community Hub on Leeming Road during the It for Beginners Session. She knows how to use a computer and normally gets a friend to help her. She wanted to know how to book flights to see her son, who lives in Cyprus. I directed her to a well-known travel booking website and was able to show her the flights available for the dates she wanted. With my help she booked her preferred flights and paid for them online. Helped her to print out tickets and itinerary.
Message from One of Our Digital Champions
Fiona is another one of our digital champions; she helps local people gain the skills and confidence to stay connected through technology.
“Digital access is now such a big part of our everyday existence … it is important to remember that everyone is at different levels of ability. It’s great to be a part of a team that genuinely wants to help improve people’s confidence, overall well-being and safety online” – Fiona (Digital Champion)
Bernice is also one of our Digital Champions. She helps equip local people with the skills to stay connected through technology.
“I found the experience at The Centre very fulfilling, especially helping people with their iPads and iPhones, which is where I mainly assisted people.” – Bernice (Digital Champion)
The Future of Digital Champions
Community Help Hertfordshire will deliver two online conferences to advance the project’s effectiveness. CHH then aims to develop a sustainable strategy to continue repurposing technology beyond the project.