Digital & Signposting Volunteers' Training Project Clackmannanshire Third Sector Interface

The Gathering 2018

Clackmannanshire Third Sector Interface

Charity registered in Scotland SC042543

CTSI is the local Third Sector Interface providing support to communities, charities, social enterprises and promoting volunteering. CTSI is also heavily involved in working with community planning partners to deliver strategic outomes that tackle inequalities and poverty in Clacks which has particularly high levels of deprivation. CTSI hosts a digital support officer, on behalf of the DWP and the council for assisted digital support, in particular to help with Universal Credit. Currently this officer works with very vulnerable people and is based in seven different venues across the county every week.

  • From 3rd September 2018 to 31st March 2019
  • Award: £8,433 via Call 6
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Project plan

Project description

Digital & signposting Volunteers' Training porject - currently there is only one officer on the ground able to provide support to people in communities around digital access and his time is dedicated almsot exclusively to those on Universal Credit - and so he is unable to help people with wider digital needs or who need to return to get more training and support. The aim is to build up a team of community-based volunteers who will be skilled in helping provide digital support and also signposting via digital support mechanisms so that people can become more supported and less isolated through accessing digital supports and frameworks.

Previously, CTSI has helped the officer, when he was a council employee, to attract in and to train volunteers but when he was made redundant, he then became a CTSI employee to help Universal Credit assitsted digital support, the volunteers disbanded. Now CTSI wants to encourage those volunteers to come back and the officer wants to help some of them become trainers of new volunteers so that there is a team in place in venues around the county to give support - and where possible even have them run small classes on using phones, setting up accounts, keeping safe online, accessing job search etc.

The officer/trainers will be employed an additional 10 hours/week to help train up up to 10 volunteers in the community to help delivery of IT and digital services. The officer/trainers is particularly looking to attract young people with good digital skills to volunteer - thereby building their skills and confidence for work in the future and be a key strand of the work that CTSI is already doing around youth volunteering. This work will be supported by a new Youth Volunteer Development Officer who is working in Clacks and Stirling.

Project milestones

Phase 1

Set up training schedule for new volunteers and train up 4 new volunteers

Phase 2

Roll out volunteer provision in 4 venues and attract in 3 new volunteers

Phase 3

Attract and train 3 further volunteers to service further venue/day provision. Group work is started in 2 venues

Phase 4

10 volunteers are trained and regularly used in settings on a rotation basis over 7 venues to support digital upskilling

Evaluation

Updates

Since our last update, we have recruited and trained a further 4 volunteers, via a mix of 1:1 training from our IT and Employability Officer, and group shadowing sessions. This brings our total number of volunteers recruited to 11. Of these, 8 are actively volunteering, with 3 having gained employment since starting to volunteer. These volunteers are currently in 4 locations across the County, They provide 2 hour drop in sessions in Community Access Points/Community venues, where anyone can go along with queries about their phone/tablet/computer/laptop.

We have also ran a further 5 essential digital skills classes, which run for 6 weeks, and have been in 5 different locations across the County. The classes have continued to be booked out within days of dates being announced, and a significant waiting list has built up. We have also had some of our digital volunteers start to assist with the classes, which has been great. We have also trialed an intermediate level digital skills class, born out of demand in the area.

Our project has continued to be busy and successful since our last update. We have recruited and trained a further 2 volunteers, who receive 1:1 training from our IT and Employability Officer, in conjunction with shadowing existing sessions to learn "on the job".

Overall, we have had 13 volunteers on board with the project, when we had aimed for 10. Of these, 7 are actively volunteering, with 5 having gained employment since starting their volunteering with us. Our volunteers carry out 2 hour drop in sessions across 3 locations in the County, and also assist with our 6 week beginner IT classes. We have had 1 class run since our last update.

The classes have been successful each time they are run, and if anything we are noticing increased demand for progression beyond the basic skills class. In order to ensure we reach as many people as possible, they have been run from 5 different locations across the County.

Since starting the project, we have recruited and trained seven volunteers as digital and signposting volunteers, via a mix of 1:1 training from our IT and Employability Officer, and group shadowing sessions. We currently have six volunteers active in the role, as one volunteer gained employment. These volunteers are currently in two locations across the County, with a third location being added over the next couple of weeks. They provide 2 hour drop in sessions in Community Access Points, where anyone can go along with queries about their phone/tablet/computer/laptop. Thus far, they have assisted people with tasks such as: running an anti-virus check; setting up an email account; scanning documents; printing tickets; and basic set up and use of tablets/laptops.

We have also started to run our six week essential digital skills classes. Thus far, we have have two classes in two locations, with four more planned across the County for this year. The first class was booked out within two days, exemplifying perfectly the need that exists locally for these classes. We also hope to get our volunteers involved in the classes, as well as carrying out drop in sessions, as they have shown themselves keen and able to assist.

We are also still recruiting for volunteers to enable the project to cover more of the County, and assist more people in need of assistance with digital skills.

Our digital work is delivered in partnership with: