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Become a Digital Champion

Kind-hearted residents are being asked to join a growing network of Digital Champions in order to offer help to those people who are unable to use digital services.



Understanding how to use digital devices and services has never been more important, and having digital skills can improve employability, financial inclusion, social mobility and health and wellbeing. Despite this, about seven per cent of Waltham Forest’s population are considered ‘digitally excluded’ and many more are unable to complete simple online tasks such as sending an email or using a search engine.



Digital Champions are people who have some skills using digital technology and are willing to volunteer their time to help those in need of support and advice get online. Some people might need regular, long-term help, such as elderly people or those with specific disabilities, while others might only need it for a short spell – perhaps if they are temporarily offline.



The Council, in partnership with leading digital skills provider Digital Unite, wants to hear from community members who think they could help local residents and businesses to use digital technology.



Anyone becoming a Digital Champion can expect to have access to free online courses, resources and support, to receive certificates and skills they can add to their CV – and the reward of knowing they have made a real difference to others.



The initiative aims to recruit over 100 Digital Champions, who will provide a friendly and accessible point of contact for those who need support with understanding, using and enjoying digital technology.



Cllr Sharon Waldron, Cabinet Member for Digital and Customer Services, said: “For many of us, using digital devices and accessing services online is second nature, but there are thousands of people in Waltham Forest who could benefit from a bit of extra help understanding how technology and/or the internet works.



“We hope to see as many people as possible take part in this initiative, and give up a small amount of their time to help a fellow resident learn new skills that could make life that little bit easier. You don’t have to be an IT whizz, just have some basic digital skills and a willingness to help others.”



As part of the initiative, the Council is training frontline staff to be Digital Champions so they can help members of the public access online support. These Digital Champions are on hand to assist anyone with activities such as setting up emails, using the council’s website, paying bills, applying for services online or signposting residents to further support.



November is #WFdigital month in Waltham Forest, with competitions, art displays, and a variety of different educational and support workshops taking place to encourage more members of the community to get to grips with digital channels, particularly older residents.



For a list of free digital learning events email assisted.digital@walthamforest.gov.uk. 



For more information about becoming a Digital Champion, visit www.digitalchampionsnetwork.com/waltham-forest or email walthamforest@digitalunite.com. 

If you would like more information about any of these press releases or have a different media enquiry please contact us at media@walthamforest.gov.uk or on 020 8496 4521 / 4802.

For out of hours please email media@walthamforest.gov.uk or call 07966 915 157.