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Do you have a digital motivator in-house?

Blog by Eilidh Little, Digital Development Officer, SCVO. Eilidh reflects on some of the highlights of the Digital Motivators in Housing Bootcamp and invites expressions of interest for the next training in the East and North East.


“I heard there are more smart phones than toothbrushes in the world!”

This was just one of the many interesting discussion points that came up at our recent Digital Motivators in Housing Bootcamp event in Glasgow. Smart phones (and toothbrushes) a plenty, we were there to train up our very first cohort of digital motivators, immersing us in all things digital inclusion in housing. 

We know that housing is a key sector to focus our digital inclusion efforts. There’s an estimated 1.17 million people living in social rented housing in Scotland who are 20% less likely to have the digital skills they need for life and work than people living in privately rented accommodation. And it’s a sector well placed, with existing trusted relationships with tenants and knowledgeable and passionate staff.

We were able to bring 12 of those passionate staff members together, each representing a different housing organisation from the west of Scotland that are looking to develop their digital skills support to their tenants by creating in-house digital champions.   

With their new ‘digital motivators’ hats on, we set about exploring key issues and challenges, best practice approaches to digital inclusion support, and how their organisations would get the most out of digital champion activity. Add into the mix, a range of excellent case studies for inspiration, including Thenue Housing Association telling us all about its CLIC project, and we started planning what digital inclusion activities they would develop and how and with who on returning to their organisations after the two-day event. 

The residential element of the bootcamp was novel for most attending and some wondered if the ‘bootcamp’ title meant we might even be getting them to do the odd press-up in between sessions! With no press-ups in sight, its aim was to create a safe, supportive and confidential space for our digital motivators to share and explore, in turn helping to build their peer network. This worked so well that they’re now continuing to support each other with an online Slack group and are looking at future face-to-face meet ups as their digital inclusion activities progress.  

The feedback from our Digital Motivators Bootcamp was positive, and it reassured us to know that they felt more confident as digital inclusion practitioners and better equipped to deliver digital skills support after taking part. 

“The two-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 to implement this plan for the benefit of customers and colleagues alike.” – Debs Allan, Linstone Housing Association 

With our ongoing support and training, we’re excited to see what digital inclusion activities come to life; and with a further two cohorts planned in September for the east and north of Scotland, there’s even more to be excited about on the digital inclusion in housing front.

Applications for our future cohorts are open with a deadline of 31 May. You can read more about our digital champions in social housing opportunity along with accessing the application form on our website here. We promise no press-ups will be involved, but your digital motivator will need to remember their toothbrush! 

Blog first shared on SCVO website

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