Scottish Government launches digital inclusion initiative

An initiative aiming to create hundreds of new ‘digital champions’ to help vulnerable people in Scotland get online will be launched next week.

The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) will train individuals in more than 600 charities and third sector organisations north of the border to help those they work with make the most of the internet.

It comes after the third sector umbrella body received more than £500,000 from the Big Lottery Fund as part of a UK-wide effort to boost digital participation.

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Cabinet secretary for culture, Europe and external affairs, Fiona Hyslop, will launch the One Digital project next Thursday in Edinburgh.

SCVO is working with organisations in every local authority across Scotland to run a programme of training and support that will allow staff and volunteers to encourage the use of digital within their own organisations as well as pass digital skills acquired on to the people they support.

Senior staff and trustees of charities and third sector organisations will also be supported to better respond to gaps in digital skills within their workplaces.   

The initiative is part of a wider £2m digital skills programme developed by SCVO along with Digital Unite, Age UK and Citizens Online to target people with disabilities and accessibility needs, young adults seeking work, the over 65s, as well as charities and the people they support.

SCVO head of digital participation Sally Dyson, who features in Connect’s Tech 100 today, labelled it a “truly inspirational partnership” to help get more people online.

“In Scotland we’re focusing on how digital champions in third sector organisations can develop their own skills, those of the people they support and make changes to how their organisations use digital,” she said.

“The other exciting bit for me is this also gives us the opportunity to work really closely with some amazing CEOs and trustees who want to get to grips with how digital can make a difference.”

Colin Marrs

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