Age UK Blackburn with Darwen – Volunteer Celebration Event
The One Digital project has been delivered for two years at Age UK Blackburn with Darwen, as part of a national programme funded by the National Lottery Community Fund. As the project delivery comes to an end, Age UK Blackburn with Darwen held a volunteer celebration event on the 6th of November 2019 at Blackburn Central Library.
The event was a chance to celebrate the achievements of the One Digital project and, importantly, to recognise the contribution of the Digital Champion volunteers.
In 2018 – 2019, Age UK Blackburn with Darwen have:
- Recruited and trained 211 Digital Champions
- Engaged 136 Local Organisations
- Reached 2,500 older people
The event was attended by volunteers, older people, partner organisations and Age UK staff.
Vicky Shepherd (Age UK Blackburn with Darwen CEO) and Paul Fleming (Director of Digital and Business Change) both paid tribute to the efforts of the volunteers. Digital Champions spoke about their roles and how much pleasure and valuable experience they had gained from getting involved in One Digital. Similarly, older people described how beneficial it had been for them to attend digital inclusion sessions supported by volunteer Digital Champions.
To conclude the event, Digital Champions were awarded certificates by Councillor Jackie Floyd, who is Blackburn with Darwen’s Older Persons Champion. Jackie spoke positively of the benefits of digital inclusion for older people.
About Digital Champions at Age UK Blackburn with Darwen
Throughout the One Digital project, volunteer Digital Champions have been involved in running various activities such as one-to-one IT tutorials and “health app” sessions in GP surgeries and medical centres. Others have been the recognised Digital Champion for their group or organisation and have established self-help groups or learning groups looking at topics such as setting up and using eBay accounts, and have worked at places such as banks, employment charity and community groups. All have helped to create an environment where older people feel that they are supported and listened to and where the benefits of digital inclusion have been promoted. Additionally, Age UK Blackburn with Darwen have recruited a large number of conversational Digital Champions, or Digital Buddies, mostly young people from schools and colleges who have received Digital Champion training and made a commitment to talking about the issue with an older friend or relative.
Find out more about the One Digital volunteer Digital Champion model