Helping Stockport residents get online
Stockport’s ‘DigiKnow’ Alliance
In Stockport, Stockport Council have been working hard to transform their digital services and ensure they don’t leave anyone behind in the process.
To do this they established ‘DigiKnow’ alliance in March 2018 to help digitally excluded residents to gain the digital skills, confidence and access they need to use the internet in ways that help them to achieve positive outcomes for work, health and life. Over the past few years the project has enabled 8,000 residents to gain digital skills and confidence through regular face to face sessions with digital champion volunteers.
In March 2020 the Alliance were awarded £50,000 from the ‘Get Greater Manchester Digital’ Fund to help grow the network of community support and increase the number of residents supported. Starting Point Community Learning Partnership were chosen to deliver the community outreach of this programme.
When the Covid-19 Pandemic began however DigiKnow needed to quickly adapt their ways of working, within one week their Digital Champion volunteers were re-trained and ready to start delivering sessions via phone or zoom through their new digital helpline.
One resident, 91 year old Mable had not been able to leave her house during the first lockdown and had been struggling to cope, she had been feeling really lonely and isolated by this significant change in her routine. Mable was referred to Starting Point, an online centre in Stockport, as somebody who would benefit from receiving a device from the Devicesdotnow campaign.
A local volunteer Michelle, had been helping Mable with her shopping since the first lockdown began and could see how lonely she was. She signed up to become a digital champion to get Mable online for the first time. Michelle taught Mable how to use the tablet which was donated to her through the DevicesDotNow campaign and now Mable is able to speak to family members all over the world and is much happier.
Mable said: "Just being able to speak to my own family has helped me a great deal. You know once I've spoken to them I feel more cheerful. At night especially it is lonely and one night I spoke to her and I thought, isn't it lovely to speak to my own daughter like that."
Article Published: 15/03/2021 12:01 PM
Digital Stockport- helping people get online