For Hilary, involvement in community activities has been a long-standing, and award-winning, experience.
Hilary has been a resident for 35 years – and involved in helping improve services for nearly as long. She started getting involved when her two boys were small and they’re now both grown up…
For Hilary, being involved is about wanting something to do – she loves to keep busy and, more recently, it gave her a focus when her husband passed away.
Award-winning digital champion
Hilary volunteers as a digital champion at one of our LiveSmart schemes for older people. In 2019, her outstanding efforts were recognised when she was crowned Clarion Futures Digital Champion of the Year.
Hilary spends two days a week helping residents to get online and develop digital skills. She works with a range of residents, including people with sight impairments, epilepsy, arthritis and depression.
Her calm, friendly manner gives learners the confidence to use new technologies on their own. This enables them to see how digital skills can enhance their lives – helping them to stay in touch with family members, as well as to use online services.
“Being online can make such a difference to people in so many ways. It’s been great going from a learner myself to being able to share my knowledge with others,” says Hilary.
Being online can make such a difference to people in so many ways.
volunteer digital champion
Here, Hilary tells us more about the ways she gets involved in her community.
How did you first get involved and why?
“I’ve been involved for many years, our housing officer told us about the local residents’ association and patch panel and suggested we get involved with them. I said yes to everything, I’ve learnt to say no a bit more now!
“I enjoyed it as I could do something useful and interesting during the day while the boys were at school. The residents’ association was really good for the community, we organised fun days, garden competitions, craft fairs and parties, bringing everyone together.”
What else have you been involved in?
Over the years, I’ve been an energy champion, void inspector, estate champion and was on the scrutiny panel a few years ago which I loved. For one of our reviews, we travelled down to the contact centre in Kent to meet the team and see how they worked.
I'm currently volunteering as a digital champion helping residents with their online skills.
You’ve made this role a great success, in fact award winning…
Yes, I won Clarion Futures Digital Champion of the Year and received a certificate at a ceremony at Southwark Cathedral.