In November 2018, Clarion Futures, Hitachi Solutions and Microsoft hosted a networking event for the housing provider’s digital champions, and demonstrated some of the project’s key successes.
Hilary Sutton, from Aylsham in Norfolk, is one of Clarion Futures’ digital champions who gives up their time to help residents use computers and make the most of the internet. Having joined the digital champions’ network over a year ago, she now hosts weekly computer sessions for residents from two sheltered housing schemes in the local area.
Hilary Sutton said, “I help residents to learn the basic skills needed to be online, whether it’s simply setting up an email account, paying a bill online or comparing electricity prices. Another benefit of the scheme for our residents is that learning basic online skills can help them to feel less isolated.
“For example, one lady who was previously unable to use a computer, has now joined Facebook. She has found that joining a social network has been a great way of helping her to keep in contact with her family.”
Ciara McMillan, industry director for housing, Hitachi Solutions, said, “We’re very supportive of digital champions and the role they play in communities. As a technology provider we provide solutions that deliver transformation underpinned by technology, but we also understand that the new digital world can be challenging for some and the role of people like Hilary is vital.
“Digital champions are the key to unlocking technology to those who most need it and we are committed to our partnership with Clarion to continue to grow and develop digital champions so that they can reach more people.”
Kenne Amissah, digital inclusion manager, Clarion Futures, said, “Digital champions like Hilary have a vital role to play in giving residents the confidence and skills needed to get by online. Since establishing our digital champions’ network, we’ve heard countless examples of how residents’ lives have been transformed thanks to the champions’ work.”