Collaborating with Capgemini volunteers to share digital skills

Capgemini logo written in blue cursive script“With the right skills, technology is an enabler, helping people navigate an increasingly interconnected and digital world. That’s why building digital skills is so important – and to ensure no one is left behind, anyone with technology skills can help support those around them to learn and gain confidence,” says Bethan Richmond, Digital Inclusion Programme Manager at Capgemini UK.

Digital transformation is exposing a clear divide that is impacting all regions and sectors across the UK. Nowadays, basic digital skills are essential to working, receiving medical care, travelling, and staying informed.

We need to help everyone participate in the digital revolution. In line with this belief, technology company Capgemini has been working with AbilityNet to connect its employees with individuals in their communities who would value assistance with learning everyday digital skills. 

Collaborating for change

Capgemini is a global leader in partnering with companies to transform and manage their business by harnessing the power of technology. Its digital inclusion programme looks to help make the digital revolution an opportunity for all and provide a bridge between technology and society. This connection has led to a deep sense of responsibility in terms of both the impacts of technology and the risks of being excluded from its opportunities in an increasingly connected world. 

Older woman with white hair sitting at kitchen table with younger man wearing AbilityNet lanyard both looking at a laptopCapgemini employees, who possess advanced technology skills, can be real catalysts for change in their local communities. The company supports its employees with the opportunity to use two working days each year for volunteering to share skills.

A Capgemini team member put Bethan Richmond, UK Digital Inclusion Programme Manager at Capgemini, in touch with AbilityNet. The two organisations began speaking about how they could support one another’s digital inclusion work.

It became apparent that not only were the values of both organisations closely aligned, but there was also a natural synergy between AbilityNet’s local connections to individuals who would value support and Capgemini’s willing and able volunteers who could help directly through the sharing of digital skills. 

The power of volunteers

As AbilityNet's volunteer network works across the UK, this appealed to Capgemini – as its employees from around the country could get involved. As a result, the two organisations started collaborating to share digital skills. Since 2022, 20 Capgemini volunteers have engaged across various AbilityNet initiatives to support around 50 people across the country. 

Two men looking at a laptop, with one person standing above seeming to be showing the other what to doFor example, seven Capgemini volunteers worked with AbilityNet in Birmingham to run digital skills building sessions for a new digitally smart housing association.

They helped run six sessions to equip 24 residents with the skills needed to thrive in their new homes – from learning how to use the technology controlling heating in their homes, to sharing knowledge of how to stay safe online, ensure strong online passwords, and more. 

A rewarding experience

Other volunteers have also been able to get involved and help their local communities. These include Capgemini employee Darren, who has been working with AbilityNet to support individuals in South Lincolnshire:

“Volunteering with AbilityNet is a fantastic way to give back to my community. It’s allowed me to use my IT skills to help others and during the past nine months, I’ve supported a number of people. For example, I assisted one elderly woman learn how to access her emails, browse the internet, and make video calls to family," Darren says.

"Another time, I helped with a project to provide digital devices for Ukrainian refugees by setting up around 100 laptops. It’s really rewarding seeing the direct benefits of sharing digital skills, and I appreciate how flexible AbilityNet is when it comes to volunteering: if you happen to be unavailable or too busy to support one week, it’s fine to pass the request to another volunteer via their co-coordinators.”

People with less confidence when it comes to the digital world often prefer a more personal, face-to-face approach. By volunteering, Capgemini employees are supporting AbilityNet to offer this option in places across the UK as we work to make the digital world accessible to all.

Free webinar: How volunteering can help you or your organisation, Tuesday 6 June 1pm BST   Join Bethan Richmond from Capgemini and Joe Tunesi of AbilityNet.  Register today: Shows profile images of Joe and Bethan, and an icon of hands in the air, and Capgemini logo. Free webinar recording: How volunteering can benefit you or your organisation, with Capgemini
Capgemini and AbilityNet discussed how the technology company provides opportunities for its employees to volunteer within the community to help older and disabled people with their digital devices as part of AbilityNet's 350+ strong team of volunteers across the UK.

Start your volunteering journey

AbilityNet has many corporate social responsibility (CSR) partnership opportunities supporting our work helping older and disabled people through technology from free support such as volunteering to sponsorship and fundraising. Please contact us if you would like to discuss working together.

And if you're an individual interested in volunteering with us, we'd love you to get in contact. Find out more about becoming an AbilityNet Tech volunteer in your area.

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