Armed forces veterans benefit from digital inclusion training for Royal British Legion
The Royal British Legion (RBL) in North Wales approached Digital Communities Wales (DCW), as it wanted to learn how to support its service users through the internet. DCW trained RBL staff in the area, on topics such as job searches and digital health, which can directly benefit their service users.
The Royal British Legion (RBL) is one of the most well-known charitable organisations in the UK which supports the Armed Forces. Beneficiaries of the British Legion’s support includes serving and veteran armed forces personnel, families, and reservists from any of the tri-forces; Army, Navy or RAF. Support needs of beneficiaries are typically physical and mental health, financial, employment, housing and social support.
A representative of RBL in North Wales met with his local Digital Communities Wales (DCW) Adviser, as he wanted his colleagues to have a better understanding of the barriers to internet use which their members and service users face. He thought this would benefit his colleagues as much as the people that they would go on to support.
Digital Communities Wales provided a one-day course to RBL staff members in North Wales, called ‘Supporting People to Get Online’. The training provides people with the information needed to support clients to develop their digital skills. It’s geared towards supporting frontline staff and volunteers working with digitally excluded individuals, to explore a range of resources and best practice approaches.
The training also covered online job seeking and how digital CVs, e-mail and online applications are basic requirements to gaining employment now. For those who cannot access a computer, or don’t have basic digital skills, this can have an adverse effect, not just for them but their families as well.
Those who attended the training also learned about digital health and wellbeing support. This section outlined how many services are moving online and how to support someone to find good quality, reliable health information, as well as the NHS’s digital transformation and tools for wellbeing.
All of the information provided in this training is ideal for RBL staff when supporting their clients and service users, as it’s directly relevant to their needs.
RBL staff in North Wales agreed that the information and training received from DCW would influence their service delivery and how they can further support their service users, particularly in their drop-in facilities.
In cascading their learning to clients and service users, the RBL will enable them to access and engage with more of their communications, which are predominantly online such as social media. The RBL Membership Support Officer who contacted DCW said that gaining digital skills can reduce isolation, increase members’ awareness, both locally and nationally, as well as enabling them to access services online, such as health information.