Chris Wainwright, aged 15, is currently volunteering with us as part of a scheme that provides one to one support to help people gain the skills they need to make the most of the internet.
Tim Marsh, our Digital Connector explained : “It is estimated that 12 per cent – or up to 67,000 people – in the county have never used a computer. With the help and support of people like Chris – who is such an inspiration to others - this initiative continues to go from strength to strength.”
Chris – who lives in Broadway and attends Chipping Camden School – became aware of the scheme when he started researching volunteering options, a stipulation of his Duke of Edinburgh award.
He said : “I contacted local libraries and organisations but was disappointed to find that although there were a lot of volunteer reading schemes there wasn’t much for technology support. Then Tim Marsh got incontact with me and told me about the Fortis scheme. I then completed the training and was invited to join the support team at Warndon Library.”
“I am really enjoying my time volunteering with Digital Champions. I believe that mastery of computers and the internet are two essential skills for everyone in the 21st century; from gaming and communicating with friends, listening to music to working in real time with colleagues on a document, computers open up limitless ways in which you can relax, play and work.
“I primarily help people use the internet to access things that interest them like finding decorators or browsing Facebook. I also help with everyday tasks such as proofreading documents in Word.”
Chris concluded : “Working as a Digital Champion has increased my confidence explaining computer concepts to others; I’d like to thank Tim for this incredible experience.”
The sessions – which are attended by people ranging in age from 7 to 94 years old – cover everything from how to shop online, send emails, attach documents through to setting up a Universal Jobmatch account and creating a Facebook page.
As part of our commitment to helping communities with online skills, we won the Fortis Living Group Volunteer Award 2017 as well as being shortlisted for the 2018 UK Housing Awards, in the Outstanding Approach to Promoting Digital Inclusion category.