Find out how Age UK helped over 18,000 older people to understand the benefits of getting online, and provided them with the opportunity to build their digital skills and have the confidence to live an included and independent life.
What's One Digital?
One Digital was a National Lottery Community funded project involving Age UK and four other partner organisations. We collaborated with Digital Unite, SCVO, Clarion Futures and Citizens Online to deliver better digital skills in the UK through empowering, supporting and inspiring trusted intermediaries or Digital Champions.
Our goal as part of the partnership was to support older people in areas of high digital exclusion to get online or to develop their basic digital skills. Working with the other partners and delivering through our network of local Age UKs, we recruited and supported over 600 specialist Digital Champions who were focused on the needs of older people.
The role of the Digital Champion
A Digital Champion is someone who is trained and supported to inspire others to get online and can spend time showing them how.
They provide services ranging from 1:1 support in older people’s homes and IT drop in sessions through to larger scale community events - simple things that can make a big difference to people who can’t or don’t use the internet.
Digital Champions come from a range of different backgrounds and have varying levels of digital experience themselves, from IT professionals to people who are ‘newly converted’ to digital technology and want to share their enthusiasm. They may be staff and volunteers from local Age UKs, employees at local businesses or local community organisations or just other older people themselves.
They all receive structured training, support and resources in order to motivate and support others. What they have in common is that they want to volunteer to engage, support and encourage older people to develop their digital skills and confidence.
Why are digital skills so important?
Digital technology continues to transform our lives, particularly with regards to how we communicate, work, access services and spend our spare time.
It's increasingly important for older people to have the digital access, skills and confidence they need to live an included and independent life, enabling them to keep in contact with loved ones, make savings by shopping online and pursue hobbies.
Although internet use among older age groups is increasing, there are still just over a half of people over 75 who don’t use the internet.
These older people will find it increasingly difficult to engage with public services and their wider community and may miss out on opportunities that digital offers to improve their lives.
What impact did One Digital have?
Between 2015 – 2020, the One Digital partnership recruited over 4,700 Digital Champions and helped more than 61,000 people across the UK to learn new digital skills including over 18,000 older people supported by Age UK.
Age UK worked with nine local Age UK's and:
- engaged 801 intermediary organisations
- recruited & trained 670 Digital Champions
- reached 18,638 older people to promote benefits of digital technology
- supported 3,997 older people to learn new digital skills
The One Digital project ended in May 2020. The project provided us with an excellent opportunity to learn more about best practice when delivering digital skills support services for older people. We continue to draw on these learnings in the development and delivery of new digital skills support services.
If you or someone you know needs support with digital skills, visit our ‘Making the most of the internet’ resources to find simple guides to help people who are already online, but want to boost their confidence.
Lots of our local partners also provide digital skills support services for older people. Find out about services near you.
Where can I get more information?
If you want to find out more about Age UK’s digital skills support services, contact your local partner or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Don't see One Digital in your area?
There might still be a opportunity at your local Age UK. The majority of our local partners provide computer training for older people, which are supported by local volunteers.
Where can I get more information?
Visit the One Digital Website to find out more about the individual projects.