Could you be a Digital Champion? 

Two people at a kitchen table looking at a laptop computer

You could help empower someone to go online - Credit: Digital Unite

The Suffolk Digital Champions Network needs your help. The network is currently recruiting Digital Champion volunteers across Suffolk to develop their own digital skills to support others in their community to make the most of technology and online services.  

You don’t need to be a technological whizz to be a Digital Champion - you just need a bit of time and enthusiasm to support others to experience the many benefits of the internet and digital technology.  

To volunteer as a Digital Champion, you must be aged 16 or over. You’ll be provided with free, online digital skills training from Digital Unite, which is CPD Accredited, and a great way for you to build your own digital skillset.  

Digital Champion volunteers will have the opportunity to use their skills and support others during Tea and Tech sessions at six libraries across Suffolk. In development by project partner BSEVC, Tea and Tech sessions will be an informal place to have a cup of tea and a chat with someone about technology and how to get started or make the best of online services. 

Jenna Ingamells, project manager at Suffolk County Council, explained: “The Suffolk Digital Champions Network has been running for about a year now. The first part of the project was working with colleagues in our partner organisations at East Suffolk Council, Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Council, Suffolk Libraries and BSEVC to identify staff who help others in their day-to-day jobs and who would benefit from upskilling their own digital skills.” 

The staff members completed Digital Champions training to better help people use technology and online services. 

“The second part,” added Jenna, “is working with our partner BSEVC to bring together volunteer Digital Champions within the community and to support the Tea and Tech sessions. Tea and Tech will also support befriending in the community and provide a safe space to ask the questions about going online you want to ask. A visit could be as simple as having a conversation about some of the challenges you’ve faced with technology and online services or working with a Digital Champion to complete a particular task online.”  

Most Read

All of the training for the project is offered by social enterprise Digital Unite. “Digital Unite has been running for 25 years and has worked with local authorities and organisations all over the country to provide Digital Champions training and the national Digital Champions Network,” Jenna said. 

Two people sitting by a laptop computer, one typing, the other pointing at the screen

Digital Champions help other people to access online services - Credit: Digital Unite

Digital Champions come from all walks of life – perhaps you’re looking for work and would like to build on your own skills and confidence and gain experience which may help you get into work, maybe you’re retired and want to play an active role in the community, or you could be a parent with some spare time to help others. 

You don’t need lots of spare time – most Digital Champions give half an hour to an hour of their time each week. 

No formal qualifications are needed either, but an ability to use the internet and computers, enthusiasm about the positive effect that technology can have on someone’s life, and good communication skills are a great foundation.  

Do you have some spare time? Would you like to learn more about going online yourself? Could you use those skills to help other people? If the answer is yes, please contact Tracey Walsh at BSEVC on 01449 707030 or volunteering@bsevc.co.uk