Lloyds Banking Group is one of the Digital Participation Charter signatories. As part of their commitment to helping support everyone in Scotland to develop basic digital skills some of their teams are spending time, under the banner of ‘Day to Make a Difference’, with local groups.

They recently supported a DIGI:know event held at a community centre in Calton, organised by Smart Communities – a community project based in Glasgow’s East End, within Thenue Housing Association. The team of three deliver a range of digital inclusion services across six communities, and their ‘digital drop-ins’ are one of the main vehicles they use to engage with local people.

The day was a hive of activity, with 27 people receiving one-to-one digital training, which lasted around an hour per session.  Around 50 people attended in total, and those who didn’t have one-to-one sessions booked (a pre-requisite for the day since some of the Lloyds colleagues were travelling from as far away as Leeds!) chatted to the Smart Communities team instead, about the project and the help available to them locally.

One group who arrived received an impromptu digital/financial inclusion workshop which included a Universal-Credit-themed budgeting game called A Year Of Change, and the diversity of digital training was vast. The team were initially told to expect requests for support in creating and updating CV’s or help with job applications on the Universal JobMatch system. In reality, the requests ranged from help with online shopping to a request for support in passing a driving theory test, and allsorts in between!

With tea & coffee flowing, some sandwiches on the go, and lots of people milling about and chatting, the Smart Communities team were really pleased with the relaxed and informal vibe of the day, and extremely grateful that Lloyds Digital Champions were there to support them. The really great news is that a lot of the clients who attended the event have now booked in for a further session and in the weeks since the event Smart Communities have had a huge boost in numbers attending their Digital Drop-ins in the area.

In fact, the day was such a success that the team are already planning another volunteer-based DIGI:know event in Cranhill. Some of the attendees described their experience on the day as “well organised”, “rewarding”, “really felt that I made a difference”, “busy” , “fab day felt that I was really able to help people”,  “good to work with people who genuinely needed our help”, “lovely to see ‘light bulb’ moments from those that attended.”

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