In her own words, Beth tells us why she became a Digital Champion volunteer.
"Hi, my name is Bethany Ruston and I am a digital champion volunteer at Northfield Community Partnership. I began doing this role in September 2018 because I am studying level 3 health and social care, and I am interested in helping people in a community. I saw this organisation as the perfect start to my future goals. As a digital champion I help individuals throughout the local community improve their computer skills and watch them learn and grow into a confident user of modern- day technology.
As a digital champion, my role is to go through and explain to clients a program called ‘Learn My Way.’ This program helps people understand computers, tablets and phones, and how to do the different variety of functions that the device can carry out. For example, from online banking and booking GP appointments, to using a mouse and keyboard confidently. Giving people this skill in the modern day society, will help them when applying for a job, or just to benefit them by learning a new skill.
There are numerous reasons why I love volunteering at Northfield Community Partnership. One being the members of staff which I work alongside, I feel they have welcoming, working attitudes and always make the role enjoyable. The organisation makes positive contributions to the local community, and clients leave the partnership with smiling faces. I also enjoy volunteering at Northfield Community Partnership because of the role that I carry out. This is due to the fact that I, myself am a confident computer user. It satisfies me to be able to encourage others to develop this skill and gain the benefits that this brings. Computer skills are useful, as they can help with making tasks simpler and clearer. Another reason why I enjoy volunteering at Northfield Community Partnership is because whilst you watch clients’ skills develop, you are also able to build formal relationships and bonds with individuals.
To conclude, I believe that volunteering at Northfield Community Partnership makes a difference in my local community, as it benefits other people’s lives. It gives me, and other volunteers in the Partnership pride, to understand that we can be a part of helping others gain new skills and experiences, to which they can use to their own advantage. Volunteering as a digital champion makes a difference because many people we support have never used a computer in their life, as they do not know how to! To be able to introduce somebody to a new piece of equipment and to watch them grow into an independent user over time is something I am proud of. I feel as though more young people should volunteer at their local community centre, to make a difference in other people’s lives, and to benefit from their own satisfaction of helping others."