L&Q plans to help 750 of its tenants across 18 London boroughs to get online through the launch of a three-year, volunteer-led digital inclusion programme costing around £168,000. The programme will help L&Q tenants with little or no experience of computers to become proficient and get online with 3,000 one-to-one learning sessions.
L&Q’s partner, Digital Unite, will recruit and train 150 community volunteers to become ‘digital champions’; computer and internet experts who will help to share their knowledge with other L&Q tenants. The skills they learn will connect L&Q tenants with online banking, information from search engines, shopping online, government services, renewing benefit claims and job searches. The digital champions will be recruited from tenants, L&Q staff and local university students.
Mark Rowe, financial inclusion projects Officer, L&Q, said, “To get online, our tenants need regular, one-to-one support; having a team of well-trained and enthusiastic digital champions will enable us to provide that. Through our existing membership of the Digital Champions Network, we have already seen the huge importance of giving digital champions the right support.”
Kathy Valdes, managing director, Digital Unite, said, “Digital champion programmes are conceived on the principle of capacity building. It builds tenants’ capacity to use digital technology and it also builds capacity within organisations so they can deliver essential, sustainable and hyper-local support.”