Edinburgh Local

Digital Ambassador project (ended)

From 2016 until 2021, the Digital Ambassador project helped to improve digital literacy amongst people in the community.

The Digital Ambassadors project ended in 2021 as our community partners developed the capacity to independently deliver its key offering. 

Digital Ambassadors 2020: Two students helping someone with an ipad and a smart phone

From 2016 until 2021, the University of Edinburgh ran a programme to support local people to gain digital skills so they could use the internet and other technologies with confidence.

The Digital Ambassadors programme trained student volunteers to teach those skills through weekly drop-in sessions at Central Library and through classes at the Charteris Centre in the Pleasance.

Working with students and partners

Working with community partners across the Edinburgh City Region (and more broadly during the coronavirus pandemic), the Team supported digital inclusion, linking the needs of the community with University resources.

The Team focused on supporting students to access volunteering opportunities, develop and deliver content and courses, befriend learners, and supporting University community partners in achieving their digital inclusion goals.

The programme expanded each year, at its peak having 20 to 25 regular volunteers at any time.

Delivery partners included Amina Muslim Women’s Resource Centre and Edinburgh's Central Library on George IV Bridge.

Benefit to the community

An evaluation of the project found that the people who attended the sessions felt their ability to use technology increased and their basic digital skills improved.

Participants felt most confident using tools such Google, email, social media and online shopping. They also enjoyed talking through their queries one-to-one with patient and knowledgeable volunteers.

Student and staff volunteers benefited from the project, gaining skills in teaching, communication and leadership.

The work was recognised with a nomination for a prestigious Green Gown Award, a scheme which highlights the higher education's best examples of sustainability.

Feedback from former Digital Ambassadors

It helped me realise that what we do brings about a direct positive impact to others.

Former Digital Ambassador

A key aspect of the project was being able to work directly with the local community from different parts of Scotland of different cultural and ethnic backgrounds.

Former Digital Ambassador

In the last session, I worked with a lady on power point presentations: the joy in her eyes on seeing her first ever presentation was huge.

Former Digital Ambassador