Edinburgh Local

Digital Ambassador Programme

Digital Ambassadors is a project that has been run by the University of Edinburgh. It aims to equip people living in the Edinburgh region with basic digital life skills like using email, requesting prescriptions online and online shopping.

The project is a flagship activity being delivered under the University’s community engagement strategy.

University community engagement strategy

Who’s behind the project?

The project is managed under Edinburgh Local by colleagues based in the University of Edinburgh’s Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability. Key contacts are Sarah Anderson, Community Engagement Manager and Sibyl Adam, Community Engagement Programme Assistant.

Most importantly, the project could not be delivered without the excellent volunteers and delivery partners. Volunteers are mostly students at the University of Edinburgh, but University staff are also welcome to take part. Delivery partners are organisations in the Edinburgh region and currently are:

How can I get involved as a learner?

There are several routes through which you can learn with our Digital Ambassadors.

Edinburgh Libraries' Get Online

Anyone is welcome to attend the digital drop-ins the Digital Ambassadors deliver in partnership with Edinburgh Libraries’ Get Online team. These currently run once a week at Edinburgh’s Central Library (taking a break over the summer and in January). To find out about upcoming sessions, please either check the Edinburgh Libraries blog or call 0131 242 8000.

People Know How

Anyone is also welcome to attend the digital drop-ins run by People Know How. Sessions take place weekly at venues around Edinburgh (some take a break during the summer). To find out more about the sessions, please either check People Know How’s websiteor call People Know How on 0131 652 1315.

Amina Muslim Women's Resource Centre

Muslim women may find useful the sessions run by the Amina Muslim Women’s Resource Centre. These are currently run as part of Amina’s employability classes out of the Charteris Centre for Community in Edinburgh.  To find out when the next sessions are running, please contact Amina’s Edinburgh office on 0131 667 9199 or info@mwrc.org.uk

Older learners

Older learners often attend the sessions at the Central Library (and older Muslim women have attended the sessions at Amina). However, older learners may also be interested in sessions run specifically for this audience at the Charteris Centre for Community in Edinburgh’s Pleasance area. To find out when the next sessions are running, please contact the Edinburgh Local team.

Please note that all of our courses focus on basic digital life skills such as sending emails, using social media, online shopping, digital entertainment (e-books, YouTube), taking digital photos and online prescription requests. If you need help with something more advanced, such as updating your computer’s operating system, you will need to contact an expert. Our Digital Ambassadors cannot provide support outside of sessions or visit learners at home.

How can I get involved as a volunteer?

Student volunteers are welcome from any field and stage of study. Postgraduate students are welcome. Volunteering takes place between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday. Staff who are able to be released during these hours are very welcome to participate also.

To register your interest as a volunteer:

Useful resources

If you can’t make our sessions, or if our Digital Ambassadors project cannot meet your needs, you may find these resources helpful:

  • Edinburgh Libraries’ Your Library webpages: Guidance on accessing Edinburgh Libraries’ digital services, including e-books, audiobooks, e-magazines, online newspapers and researching your family history. 
  • Care & Repair Edinburgh’s handyperson service: Can visit your home to help with basic computer problems, plus digital TV and photos. 
  • Tap into IT: They can visit you at home or another venue to provide 1:1 support. They can also provide support over the phone or by email. 
  • Cre8te Opportunities’ Digital Skills training: They offer sessions for older people living in sheltered housing and sessions especially focused on digital skills for work (including some sessions on IT careers for those aged 16-25). They also offer small, friendly classes for general beginners at classes across Edinburgh.  

More information

The project was originally piloted by Ben Fletcher-Watson in 2016 as part of the now-ended Student Community Engagement project.