A digital refresh for Scotland's youth-homelessness charity
23 November 2022 • 3 min read
At AND Digital we take a pragmatic approach to supporting our local chosen charities. Over the past year, Edinburgh's Club Somerville has been working with the Rock Trust; a charity on a mission to end youth homelessness in Scotland. The Trust provides expert youth-specific services, helping people avoid, survive and move on from homelessness.
The team at AND’s Somerville Club has focused on providing digital up-skilling and mentoring to the Rock Trust team, as well as building a new website for the organisation.
Lucy Muir, Squad Lead at AND Digital, is leading the team which works closely with the Rock Trust members. She comments:
“No sector, including the third sector, is immune from the impact of the digital skills gap and for charities working with young people it is really important that they are familiar with the online world, and can help vulnerable people get access to information and services as soon as they need it.
As part of working with the charity, we identified challenges with Rock Trust’s website, and helped the organisation to reevaluate this vital part of its digital presence. The 2022 Charity Digital Skills report showed 38% of charities see upskilling staff and volunteers as the second greatest barrier to digital progress, despite 82% of charities reporting that digital is more of a priority as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Some organisations, including charities, find it difficult to know where to start with digital upskilling, which is why collaboration is so important. On that issue, Rock Trust Communications and Fundraising Manager, Madeline Cross, says: “From the very beginning of working with the AND Digital squad, it was always about collaboration, and getting the best results for our young people. From the designers to the developers, they took the time to understand our needs and have strived to create something that is sustainable and meaningful.”
Lucy Muir adds: “Throughout our time working with the Rock Trust we’ve seen first hand that digital upskilling can have a big impact on the day-to-day working of the charity, and ultimately can have a positive impact on its service users.”
“It is vital that as a youth homelessness charity we are digitally literate and can navigate the online world as it is such an important space for young people. We quickly identified a new website was needed, and after working closely with the ANDis this year we are really looking forward to launching a significantly more user friendly site, especially for those seeking help. Crucially, it will also help us to be more efficient in processing donations “ says Madeline Cross.
But success in digital goes beyond products and platforms; it's critical that teams can communicate and collaborate effectively, and structure their approach to get the most out of their digital products. AND Digital works to ensure that teams have the whole package of technical and "human" skills, and part of that upskilling involves Agile Training. Speaking on the course that was delivered earlier this year, Rock Trust CEO Kate Polson says:
"It has had a profound influence on the way that we work. As a result of the training, individual teams reflected on how they could incorporate what they had learned into their day to day work, making positive changes such as introducing new meeting structures. It has also formed an integral part in our new Talent Development Programme.’
AND Digital will continue its mission to close the world's digital skills gap. The work with the Scottish third sector is key in making that impact. You can read more about our community work here.