Midlothian Matters - Lifting the lid on the Internet

Two of the trainers from One Digital - Jonathan Coward and Craig Turner
Two of the trainers from One Digital - Jonathan Coward and Craig Turner

Scotland is a digital nation. Eight in ten households have an internet connection, and four in ten have a tablet computer, writes Dr Lesley Kelly (Midlothian Voluntary Action).

Six in ten people use a smartphone. For those who have the access, motivation and skills to get things done online, life is mmeasurably enhanced.

But still far too many people risk being left behind.

If this were just a case of missing out on a few distracting websites and celebrity tweets then we might think nothing more of it. But the stakes are so much higher. Amongst other things, the internet helps people keep in touch, learn new things, save money, find work and stay healthy.

Many Midlothian charities and community groups are aware of the challenges and opportunities that the Internet presents. Organisations that embrace digital grow faster, innovate more and do a better job of meeting the needs of their clients and customers. However, Third Sector organisations can lack the skills and confidence to fully “go digital” – and this is where the One Digital project can help.

One Digital is an exciting and unique collaborative digital skills programme developed by SCVO, Age UK, Citizens Online and Digital Unite with its partners Affinity Sutton and AbilityNet.

Funded by a £2 million investment by the Big Lottery Fund, the initiative aims to recruit and support Digital Champions to help people with basic digital skills.

In Midlothian, One Digital will be offering local charities and community groups two types of training and support – all of it for free.

You can focus on Making Digital Work – this is designed to help you change the way your organisation uses digital. Alternatively, you might find Making Digital Everyday most relevant, as it will help you to support your end users to change their behaviour and start using digital as part of their day-to-day life.

l To find out more about the project, contact Lesley Kelly at Midlothian Voluntary Action on 663 9471 or Lesley.kelly@mvacvs.org.uk More information on One Digital and basic digital skills can be found at http://digital.scvo.org.uk/onedigital/