A few weeks ago I had an approach from the leader of a team of Continence Nurses asking if I was available to speak to a get together they were holding shortly. I was, and, on the appointed day I set off on the short bus journey from Huddersfield to the land of Compo and Clegg (Holmfirth in other words) to join them.
I had a fabulous time doing what I do a lot of the time, trying to transfer my passion for the internet to others. And, in this case as in many more, the main aim was then to get them to transfer it to those they work with.
I have long contended that one of the key barriers to digital inclusion is that the professionals who work with them can be technophobes acting as gatekeepers who prevent the goodies getting through. Nothing could be further from the truth with this group of Continence Nurses, and it was a lot of fun working with them to explore their own internet passions as well as mine.
This tells me something I have known for a long time; that the best people to be digital champions are those who have day-to-day contact with digitally excluded people. So I always advise organisations to avoid putting their digital inclusion activity in silos, it has to range across the staff body and, in particular, empower those on the frontline to help people get digital. Continence Nurses are not necessarily the group who spring to mind when the phrase Digital Champion is used, but groups like this are in the best possible place to assist people to use digital to improve their quality of lives.
We need to see more of this kind of initiative, and I’d love to work with other groups like this. So, please get in touch