There are a number of reasons to get involved in our Digital Champion Network. This includes gaining new skills, gaining access to CPD courses and resources and being part of a county-wide network. We are always growing and creating new opportunities to volunteer, so there's no time like the present to join us!
You can sign up as a Digital Champion by completing the expression of interest form. Once this is done, we will contact you with all the information necessary to complete your application, including login details for Digital Unite (where you log your activity in the community and begin your training courses), details of your DBS check and guidance on what you will be doing as a Digital Champion.
To become a Digital Champion, you will need to:
- Successfully complete a DBS check. If you would like to do work in the community on a 1-2-1 basis, this will need to be an Enhanced DBS check.
- Please note that If you have lived outside the UK for a period of more than 12 months within the last 10 years, you will need to provide a fully translated Certificate of Good Conduct along with completing your DBS Check. This will need to be funded by yourself.
- Complete introductory courses on Digital Unite with the essential information to know as a Digital Champion and guidance on keeping your learners safe.
- Complete an agreement to be part of the Digital Champions network.
Additionally, if you wish to provide phone or virtual support, you will need to complete further training including GDPR and Adult Safeguarding courses. Accessing these will also allow you to access further voluntary courses such as Mental Health and Wellbeing, and Introduction to First Aid. While these are not mandatory in becoming a Digital Champion, we would encourage you to take this training.
No. Unfortunately, regardless of whether you already have a DBS, we are required to perform a DBS check of our own from KCC’s internal DBS Service.
If you wish to work directly with clients identified by Digital Kent and Kent County Council, we will need to complete an Enhanced DBS check to ensure vulnerable individuals across Kent are kept safe.
If you wish to provide support in the community but only have a Basic DBS check with us, we will need to carry out a new Enhanced DBS check.
We have two types of Digital Champion: individuals who wish to volunteer in the community 1-2-1 with individuals, and professionals who are interested in accessing our resources and keeping up with what Digital Kent is doing. If you would like to help in the community, we expect you to support once a month in any capacity – that could be attending events to promote Digital Kent and digital inclusion, helping a digital skills support client, helping someone over the phone, or even helping your friends and family.
We are always understanding that sometimes circumstances prevent you from being able to give your time in volunteering efforts. Please do let us know if anything happens to prevent you from volunteering, but if you cannot, we allow a 3-month period after which we will archive your account if we do not hear from you.
Being a Digital Champion offers you all kinds of opportunities! You will be sent frequent support bulletins with a list of the individuals across Kent who have come to us with requests to receive digital skills support. We will pair you with these individuals so you can provide 1-2-1 skills support, allowing them to ask you any questions they have and helping them to grow their confidence with technology.
We also provide opportunities for you to attend community sessions. We have worked closely with community groups and coffee mornings, job centres and libraries, all across Kent to give attendees the chance to meet with Digital Champions in a group setting. Our volunteers can attend these group sessions to give talks, offer 1-2-1 support or just chat and answer any questions attendees may have. Each group is different, and this offers a great opportunity to get to know people within your local community.
Digital Kent is committed to providing our volunteers with as many personal development opportunities as possible. We run bi-monthly networking events to allow our volunteers to meet and to update them on our projects, and we provide a host of training opportunities and CPD courses. We want to make sure our volunteers are getting the most they can out of this role, so if there is any training you would be interested in as part of the Digital Champion role, we can get that set up.
When you submit an expression of interest to become a Digital Champion, we will email you with login details for our Digital Unite platform. This is where you will be able to log your activity as a Digital Champion, what you have done and how you have supported individuals in your community. This is also where you will be able to access courses and how-to guides to support your volunteering efforts. Digital Unite supports Digital Champion Networks across the country, and is always adding new courses to their website, so do check in to see what’s new!
You can also download the web app on your smartphone, which will make recording activity a lot easier and meaning you can log your movements on the go.
We will send out frequent bulletins throughout each month with a list of opportunities that you can get involved with as a Digital Champion, as well as a monthly Digital Champions newsletter that will give an overview of what the network has been working on and any upcoming events. You will also receive invites to networking events across the county, and a quarterly Digital Kent newsletter to keep you updated on the wider projects we are running.
If you have any questions, feedback or issues at all, please do get in contact with us directly by emailing email@example.com where our Volunteer Engagement Officer Bryony Goble or one of their support staff will be in contact as soon as possible.
Digital Kent was set up by Kent County Council in 2021 and is part of the Helping Hands scheme, which was announced by Roger Gough, Leader of the Council, in February 2021. The scheme was allocated £10m, of which £2.5m was distributed to tackling digital exclusion in the county. A further £2.5m was allocated from the Contain Outbreak Management Fund (COMF) in June 2021.
In 2022 and 2023, Digital Kent was successful in securing additional funding from a variety of sources, such as NHS Kent & Medway and European Structural Investment Fund. All of our projects and schemes cover the Kent County Council area, with some now including Medway. We endeavor to make this clear for each project.
The Digital Kent service has been created as a response to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic. The support and services that Digital Kent offers are time-limited, due to the nature of the funding available. The Digital Champions Network was set up as part of this response, reaching members of the community on the ground and supporting other inclusion projects across Kent.