Could you be a Digital Champion?

Have you got some time to spare to show people the wonders of the world wide web? 

Derbyshire County Council is leading a £27.67 million project with BT to extend fibre broadband across the county by the end of 2016. And as part of the plans the county council wants to make sure as many people as possible have the confidence to use it. 

More volunteer Digital Champions are needed to help support people who are new to the internet and help them learn the basics when it comes to online browsing. 

All volunteers need to be able to do is browse the internet, use search engines, send emails and complete online forms. 

Councillor Joan Dixon, Derbyshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Jobs, Economy and Transport, said: “There are lots of people who would like to be able to use the internet but don’t know where to start. 

“With more and more services moving online, the internet is becoming a necessity for modern day life and not a luxury. 

“That’s why we want more people to sign-up to become Digital Champions – to help friends, family, neighbours and communities to realise the benefits of being online.” 

She added: “Anyone can be a Digital Champion. You don't have to be technically savvy, you just need patience and the ability to use the internet and to get others to understand how it can make a difference to their lives.” 
IT consultant Alan Smith (62) from Barlborough has already signed up to share his expertise. 

He said: “I’ve worked in IT for many years but I understand that for some people the internet is completely baffling. 

“The advantages of being able to use the internet are huge and I’m really passionate about it so I’m happy to do anything I can to help people get online. 
“Whether it’s for browsing, online shopping, sending an email or online banking, the possibilities of the internet are endless and it’s really not that difficult once you know how.” 

If you would like to get involved as a Digital Champion, please contact broadband@derbyshire.gov.uk or 01629 538243 for more information. 

Notes to Editors 
About Digital Derbyshire 

The Delivering Digital Derbyshire project is part financed by the East Midlands Competitiveness and employment European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007 to 2013. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund Programme, which is one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs. For more information visit www.gov.uk/browse/business/funding-debt/european-regional-development-funding 

About Superfast Britain 
Superfast Britain is a Government programme of investment in broadband and communication infrastructure across the UK. Run by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, this investment helps businesses to grow, creates jobs and will make Britain more competitive in the global race. The portfolio is comprised of three elements: 
• £780m to extend superfast broadband to 95% of the UK by 2017 
• £150m to provide high speed broadband to businesses in 22 cities 
• £150m to improve quality and coverage of mobile phone and basic data network services 
Administered on behalf of Government by Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), Superfast Britain is transforming Britain by promoting growth, enabling skills and learning, and improving quality of life. 

For further information: https://www.gov.uk/broadband-delivery-uk 

For more information contact: 

Call Derbyshire County Council’s communications team on 01629 538205, www.derbyshire.gov.uk/digitalderbyshire 

BT’s regional press office on its 24-hour number: 0800 085 0660. All news releases can be accessed at BT’s website: http://www.bt.com/newscentre