We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to learn and practice digital skills such as communicating, transacting and finding information online. As part of this commitment to Digital Inclusion, we kicked off our ‘Volunteer Week’ in support of International Volunteer Day. Over 60 employees participated in a number of half-day volunteering opportunities supporting 75 beneficiaries ranging from the elderly to marginalised women.
Teaching the elderly, digital skills
15 Capgemini volunteers provided one-to-one support for elderly residents and tenants of Wrekin Housing Associations. The Wrekin Housing Trust is one of the largest social housing associations in the West Midlands with almost 12,000 homes available for rent or low-cost home ownership. The Trust’s residents have remained mostly digitally excluded unable to use digital devices and the internet to access information online. This lack of confidence with using online services have made it difficult for them to connect with friends and family. Our volunteers were inspired by this and focused on giving the elderly a chance to live the new, digital way of life. The outcome was overwhelming for both the residents and the volunteers themselves.
Fiona Loftus, a senior solution architect and volunteer, had this to say, “Everyone I have spoken with loved the session and found they got lots from it, in terms of assisting with the tech queries but also interacting with the residents themselves in general conversation, which was as rewarding as resolving the issues.”
David Lewis, co-regulation co-ordinator, The Wrekin Housing Trust gave us the best compliment, “At each location the residents mixed well with the volunteers – who were amazing! They put the residents at ease and spoke with them, not at them!! I think the residents really appreciated this. Everyone spoken too asked if another event can be arranged in the future and they said they would go away and tell their friends how good it was.”
After the elderly, it was time for a digital confidence workshop with marginalised women
In Tower Hamlets, London, Capgemini volunteers supported a group of 20 women with low digital literacy to develop their confidence and skills. The volunteers decided to focus on learnings around getting online, supporting the women with tasks such as navigating online forms and applications, online safety and using social media. The ultimate goal was to increase attendees’ chances of securing employment and to increase their employability overall
“The women were very eager to learn and the event was a great success; both the charity representatives and the participants were keen for us to come back for another similar event in the future,” comments Prithyukshaa Thoppur Ravi, a senior consultant. “The whole Capgemini volunteering team were quite involved and personally, it was a great learning opportunity for me as well. This volunteering week gave us a good platform to contribute to the community and also learn some new skills. I’m looking forward to getting involved in many more opportunities.”
Partnering with potential Code Your Future students
Code Your Future is one of our key partners in helping us meet out digital inclusion goals. Code Your Future’s focus is to support refugees and disadvantaged individuals to achieve their dream of becoming developers – during our Volunteer Week, 11 of us did just that. Our volunteers, which included graduates of our first Digital Academy helped to interview candidates that included refugees and disadvantaged individuals for prepare them for our next Digital Academy.
“It was a really great experience. I met a lot of enthusiastic candidates and great interviewers. A fantastic opportunity to meet new people and share opinions.” – Daniele Zurico, Senior Technical Architect.
Becoming Architects of Positive Futures
It was an inspiring week for our volunteers who worked with over 75 beneficiaries across Telford and London. Our volunteers feel that the happiness and resolve they saw on faces of people they met and engaged with is something that we will carry with them for a long time to come. This is how feels to be an Architect of Positive Futures.
Read all about our partnership with Code Your Future here, also the stories from our students, and five lessons we have learned after starting our first Digital Academy.
Read our Global Head of Digital Inclusion, Lucie Taurines’ fantastic blog on seven reasons to volunteer – take a look and see why volunteering could help you lead a longer, healthier, happier life.