The internet has become an integral part of the lives of people in Stockport and beyond as more and more everyday services become “Digital By Default”. Council services, job applications, benefit applications, banking, finding the best deals on utilities and learning about what’s going on in your local area have all moved increasingly online, as up to a quarter of some of Stockport’s most vulnerable people lack the skills to take advantage of the digital world.
Digiknow is a new movement for Stockport which joins together the borough’s established fabric of voluntary organisations with the expertise of Starting Point, Good Things Foundation, Stockport Council, Stockport Homes and The Prevention Alliance alongside private and public sector partners to deliver digital skills to as wide a selection of the population as we can reach.
We aim to do this by engaging a team of volunteers, some embedded in existing community organisations, others who will deliver digital training with smaller groups or on an ad hoc basis. There will also be some provision from Council staff, Citizens Advice and companies such as Lloyds Bank, who are delivering sessions in partnership with Stockport Libraries as well as Stockport Homes who deliver digital sessions to tenants in community centres and communal areas of supported housing.
Good Things Foundation have provided Activation Grants to local organisations in Stockport who want to help people get online to cover things like room rental, equipment, internet connection, DBS checks for volunteers and more.
Digiknow’s Community Ambassadors Starting Point are providing comprehensive Digital Champion training for anyone who is interested in volunteering and learning materials and support for anyone who wants to become part of the movement, as either a group supporting Digital Inclusion or individual wanting to volunteer.
Digiknow presents a great opportunity for some of the people and communities who The Prevention Alliance work with; giving them the skills to find work online, cut their living costs, find housing and retain tenancies, manage their money, find out about and apply for support that they may be entitled to and to make new friends and find new interests. It’s also a great opportunity for the more digitally savvy to take their first steps back into work by volunteering as part of the project.
Our own staff have been undertaking the Digital Champions training from Starting Point in order to be able to deliver digital skills and help people with online services more effectively and we hope to offer our own training sessions with users of our BSL drop in really soon. Community Connectors from our People Helping People team have been working with local groups to bring them into the project by matching them with volunteer Digital Champions.
If you’re looking for support with digital skills, contact Starting Point on 0161 494 9947 who will be able to let you know what’s available near you.
If you’re a community group or company who is interested in becoming part of the movement, find out more here https://www.onlinecentresnetwork.org/stockport
If you are interested in volunteering and becoming one of our Digital Champions, contact Starting Point on 0161 494 9947 or Google “digital champions training stockport” for an Eventbrite link to book directly on to the latest sessions.