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One Digital Stories

Daniel Cottam is a Citizens Online Digital Champion for One Digital in the Highlands.

In this video he talks about the difference his role has made, how they all 'learn together' and the benefit of having Digital Champion training and support available 'as and when you need it'. He says the overriding key benefit digital skills support has brought to the learners is confidence.

When asked to give one word to describe what it is like to be a Digital Champion, Daniel uses 'uplifting' and says he 'always leaves the digital skills sessions feeling really good'.


Helen Fay, a Sheltered Housing Co-Ordinator at Trust Housing Association in Callander, attended SCVO’s Digital Champion training session in Perth. The team caught up with her this week to get her thoughts on using One Digital’s online learning:

Are you signed up to the Digital Champions’ Network and if so, have you completed any online courses?

Yes, I’ve completed six courses so far. From ‘How to use the internet to develop your professional profile’ to ‘Digital fun; using the internet to help people love later life’.

How did these prove useful for you and your service users?

I felt the courses covered everything I needed to pass information on to older people in a simplified and non-invasive way. The courses also made me think about the way I use the internet in my daily life and as a result I now use it so much more e.g. I have started internet banking, which is great.

How do you think this has impacted your approach to passing on digital skills?

I’ve really learnt such a lot from the Digital Unite online courses: my knowledge and confidence have increased in passing on what I’ve learnt by using the internet. I think the big thing for me is making sure that older people are given the time and patience to get their heads around the exciting world of the World Wide Web and how it will make life so much more enjoyable.

Have any of the courses been particularly useful in your field of work?

Yes, I had a tenant ask me to show him how to connect to the government website, by completing the Using Government Services Online course on the Digital Unite platform. This then made me a lot more comfortable navigating through the website with the tenant.

In SCVO’s Making Digital Everyday training, we often talk about hooks which are ways of getting learners engaged by digital based on their own personal situation and interests. Have you managed to engage any of your own service users with a ‘hook’?

We have one tenant who is 82 years old and he loves jigsaw puzzles. I showed how to do jigsaw puzzles on a computer and how to then increase/reduce the amount of pieces within the puzzle. This served as a brilliant ‘hook’ and he really began to show interest.

That’s wonderful. Are you aware of any other learners successfully accepting and using digital in their lives?

Yes, we had another tenant who was planning a move to Helensburgh and wanted to see what it was like before going. We showed her that by going online and searching google for Helensburgh, she had access to lots of photos and could read/find out more about it. The next day she found the phone number of a letting agency, rang them up and made an appointment to go and view a house. She then found the details for a Trust housing development near Helensburgh, booked herself a guest room to go and spend some time there before deciding and this was all done online!

She was blown away by how quickly she could pull everything together using the internet. She is due back today so I’m interested to find out how she got on.

How is progress with your action plan? Have you achieved what you set out to do?

Yes - another Digital Champion, Alexandra Russell (who attended training too) and I launched a Digital Participation Pilot within Trust Housing which has installed ‘kiosks’ and connected residents of our sheltered housing complex to Wi-Fi. Thursday 16th June marked our launch and a very good day it was too. A great mixture of tenants and guests attended and we had a lot of interest in the tablet ‘kiosk’ that we have set up in our lounge. A few of the older tenants who don’t have any digital devices also came to sit down and have a look.