Hello! I am so excited to be writing my first blog as part of SCVO’s Digital Participation team, to introduce myself and tell you about our Digital in the House programme.
Firstly, who am I?
My name is Rory Brown, a Community Learning and Development (CLD) worker who has been fortunate enough to have been involved in some amazing projects – I’ve worked in Digital Youth Work, Social Prescribing, Community Development and more! My most recent post was with Govan Housing Association where for three years I led a Digital Inclusion programme that became a Digital Partnership approach to tackling digital inequality through Covid-19.
Why Digital in the House?
Covid-19 and the pandemic created an intense shift for all companies and organisations towards working digitally and for the third sector there has been a double challenging of moving our staff and services online AND supporting individuals, groups and communities (many of whom are the hardest to reach) to access these services. Responding to these challenges in an agile and responsive way has been key and housing associations have embodied these principles in an amazing way.
Who can apply?
The programme is open to anyone working in housing who’s able to be a digital motivator, which means someone passionate about digital inclusion, able to inspire others and able to gain the support of your organisation to develop a Digital Champions network.
What can you expect to get out of it?
Our 2019 programme worked with 29 organisations from around Scotland, offering them a fully funded, comprehensive, training and support package alongside a qualification offered in partnership with Glasgow Kelvin College. This year, we are expanding on this, offering:
- Monthly online facilitated learning sessions
- Support to develop your digital inclusion plan to support your tenants and the wider community
- Opportunities to work with social housing colleagues from across Scotland
- ‘Train the trainer’ sessions to help you support Digital Champions within your own organisation
- Advice on monitoring and evaluating digital inclusion activity
- Access to credit rated qualifications for involved staff to air career progress.
“How inspiring it was to be in a room full of dynamic, like-minded colleagues from different associations and housing providers who have our customers at the core of what we do, who see digital as an integral part of our service rather than as an afterthought. The 2 day session was quick paced and engaging, and I came away not only with a plan of how to move forward, but with existing networks strengthened and new and exciting links formed that will help me to implement this plan for the benefit of customers and colleagues alike.”Digital Motivator from 2019 Programme
Why you should apply!
Although the Covid-19 pandemic has been challenging, it is also provided a level playing field in digital inclusion as many organisations tried to figure out their approach, where best to invest and how to make their work sustainable, potentially building on any work carried out during with the Covid-19 Emergency Funds or Community Recovery Funds. This is an amazing opportunity for all staff, new and well established, working in Social Housing to learn from each other, discuss challenges, sense check their work and develop a bespoke individual plan for going forward. What are you waiting for?