Go Digital Big Hearts Community Trust

The Gathering 2018

Big Hearts Community Trust

Charity registered in Scotland SC037311

Big Hearts Community Trust is the official charity partner of Heart of Midlothian Football Club. We use the power of football to engage and improve the lives of families and individuals at risk of social isolation across Edinburgh, with a focus on our local community – South West Edinburgh.

  • From 3rd September 2018 to 30th August 2019
  • Award: £8,276.85 via Call 6

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Project plan

Project description

Delivered over a 12 month period, ‘Go Digital’ will focus on upskilling key staff and volunteers within the organisation to develop and deliver digital skills training and support to isolated older people who we work with through our football memories and kinship care programmes. With funding to cover dedicated staff costs, associated volunteer costs and required digital kit, our 12 month project will be embedded into existing activity and will add significant capacity to our small organisation.
We will undertake an essential skills audit across our football memories participants and Kinship Carer support group in order to understand the level of knowledge and skill. This will help us to develop a tailored training / support programme as well as giving us a baseline to monitor the project’s impact. We will use information from the Essential Digital Skills Framework to assess level of understanding / competence across communicating, handling information and content, transacting, problem solving, being safe/legal online. We anticipate a range of ability from foundation to basic level.
Based on findings, our Project Officer (PO) and Volunteer Development Officer (VDO) will use online resources and support from the One Digital Team to develop a tailored programme, targeting key areas of need and detailing a timetable of engaging and relevant inputs (at least 2 x 1hr sessions per month over the 12mth project period). The PO and VDO will train existing volunteers who are interested in supporting the project to help deliver the sessions. We will purchase a set of 5 ipads and 5 google chrome laptops to ensure we have the necessary kit to allow participants to explore and learn. We will also put our Digital Skills Team (PO, VDO, Volunteers) forward to attend SCVO’s Digital Champions training to help support and add value to our project.

Project milestones

Phase 1

Essential Skills audit complete and baseline data reviewed

Phase 2

Go Digital Training Programme Designed & Volunteers Trained

Phase 3

Project Delivery Midway review (at least 9 x 1hr sessions delivered)

Phase 4

Project Complete – End of Project review (at least 18 x 1 hr sessions delivered)



Our Big Hearts Go Digital project has continued to develop and have positive impact over the period Jan - April 2019. Our staff and volunteer Digital Champions have continued to support our football memories participants to use digital mediums to browse and search memorabilia thus helping with their recall and social connections. One volunteer has spent time uploading hundreds of images on to our project i-pads (purchased with Charter fund funding) for quick access and use during the sessions. Participants are also welcome to take the i-pads home to continue their engagement outwith the project with their family members or carers. Beyond browsing digital images, the i-pads have also been used in other ways as part of the group, such as completing interactive quizzes and completing web searches in points of interest which come up in conversation throughout the sessions. Digital Champions are on hand to help and guide participants. We estimate 15 participants have been engaged and supported using digital equipment or from a digital champion throughout the reporting period.

With our Kinship Carer group, where we know there is a need to develop confidence and essential digital skills, we ran a digital workshop with Alistair and Stephen from Three's Discovery Programme, supported by a Digital Champion. 13 kinship carers took part in the session delivered during the Easter holidays while the kids were on a day excursion. The workshop was designed around carers needs, specifically looking at how the digital world could help reduce their social isolation as well as receiving tailored advice around online safety. The session was very hands on and interactive with positive feedback from carers. Our project family support worker has been following up with carers in the home to provide further support and we are planning a future workshop specifically around setting up parental controls/permissions etc.

We have used the funding to purchase 5 iPads, which have been used in our Football and Edinburgh Memories sessions since November to encourage older participants to become more familiar with browsing and searching for images and content relevant to the sessions. For example, finding images of Hearts FC team photos from the 1960's, or old stadiums. Volunteers are on hand to talk participants through the use of iPads to get them comfortable.

We have plans to further develop and introduce more digital training and activities throughout the next period including helping participants to navigate online safety. We will also use the iPads as part of our ongoing support for Kinship Carers. For example, during a session on fire safety in the home, carers will be supported to sign up for a fire safety check online.

We also used SCVO/ Mhor Collective to train 7 volunteers as Digital Ambassadors in October. These volunteers will help support the roll out of our Go Digital project throughout the year.

Funding has also covered a proportion of staff costs for our Project Officer and Volunteer Development Officer staff time to help plan these activities and measure baseline information on participants level of basic digital skills using the frameworks provided by SCVO.

Our Big Hearts Go Digital project has continued to develop and have a positive impact over the period April - September 2019.

Our staff and volunteer Digital Champions, and other active volunteers have continued to support our Football & Edinburgh Memories participants, working 1-1 with them in sessions to access archive photo and video materials, and listen to music.

One volunteer recently hosted a music quiz in an Edinburgh Memories session, using an iPad and Spotify to create a playlist of popular songs from movies between 1940 - 1975. Using an iPad allowed Graham to move around the room to engage with participants whilst hosting the quiz. Creating Spotify playlists with volunteers and participants allows them to pick out favourite songs, or browse music from their favourite eras to listen to. Doing this on iPads makes it easy and engaging, and our volunteers are becoming more and more comfortable with this.

We hope to grow this into doing similar activities with video files, and use the iPads even more for engaging quizzes and interactive elements.

Additionally, we continue to use our iPads as a place to store photo albums for participants to browse, with more and more people using them during the sessions.

Our Kinship Care Programme took a break over the summer holiday period but has now started back up again and our family support workers will continue to embed the learning and skills from our Easter workshop through our weekly group meetings and other out of project support/home visits etc.

Our digital work is delivered in partnership with: