Research shows that a large number of adults don’t identify as having the digital skills they need to use the internet effectively. This means that a significant chunk of the population is missing out on the positive ways the internet can help with everyday life, from connecting us with loved ones and our community to helping us learn new things, save money, find work and discover opportunities to keep healthy, both physically and mentally.

In August 2017 Voluntary Arts Scotland received funding from SCVO's Digital Participation Charter Fund* to develop a digital skills training programme specifically aimed at volunteers involved with the organisation and delivery of creative activity in their community. We specifically targeted volunteers aged 50+ who identified as lacking in basic digital skills and began by asking them what digital skills they most wanted to learn.

This consultation exercise helped us to shape a programme of digital skills training in collaboration with Fin Wycherley of Supersize Media. Meet Fin and hear about her involvement in the project . . .

The digital skills training sessions we developed focussed on how to:

- Make the most of Facebook
- Organise and manage group emails and email messaging using Mailchimp
- Design great documents using Canva

Training took place in six locations across Scotland and involved over 100 participants representing creative groups of all shapes and sizes - from craft collectives and University of the Third Age groups, to community gardens, Magic Circles and everything in between.

Participants were invited to join a Digital Skills Facebook Group following the training, which offered a safe space for people to ask questions and share their successes and challenges as they put their newfound skills into practice.

The digital skills and experience of those who took part in the training varied massively and we learnt a lot from each other in these sessions. But don’t take our word for it - participant Catriona Laird reflects on her experience of the training and how digital skills are helping the Stirling Gaelic Choir build connections and recruit new members:

More from Voluntary Arts:

With the help of Fin and participants from the Digital Skills training sessions, we've created a series of practical ‘how to’ videos accompanied by useful links to share the learning from this project and help you navigate the digital landscape. Click on the links below for more information and advice . . .

* Scotland’s Digital Participation Charter is on a mission to give everyone in Scotland the digital skills they need to do their jobs, live their lives and confidently use different digital services. The Digital Participation Charter Fund has been set up by the Scottish Government as part of its wider Digital Scotland programme and is being administered by SCVO. For more information, see -