[PRESS RELEASE] The Bolton Digital Skills programme, a new initiative driven by a partnership between Bolton Wanderers in the Community, Bolton CVS, and Lightful, has celebrated its successful completion. Over the course of six months, this collaborative effort has equipped 50 local charities with the confidence and digital skills necessary to raise even more funds to support the local community.
The programme addressed the digital skills gap within the charity sector, with the use of digital tools identified as a leading area of concern for many of the 1,672 organisations operating in the town. Ninety percent of those who applied for the programme indicated that they were at the early stage of their digital journey and needed additional support. Recognising the transformative potential of digital technology, Bolton Wanderers in the Community, Bolton CVS and Lightful united their expertise to provide comprehensive training and support to charities in the Bolton community.
One of the charities that participated in the programme is Sapphire Partnership, who are about to launch their very first digital campaign #dontdismyability. Jen McVeigh, Programm Manager from the Sapphire Partnership said, “The digital strategy was a really key thing as it gives you a target and an aim rather than just putting content out there. The biggest thing I've loved doing, is that I've learnt how to do a campaign, which is something that's very new to me. With Roisin McGovern’s [Lightful’s Digital Training Lead] help, we've managed to get some people involved through Instagram - a couple of famous people and loads of local people.”
Healthwatch Bolton, another beneficiary of the programme, highlighted the time-saving and knowledge-enhancing benefits gained through the initiative. Leah Payne (Senior Information, Advice & Guidance Officer/Engagement & Communications officer), who successfully completed the programme said, “My favourite part of the programme was creating a social media strategy. I'd just been posting things online, and not really given it much thought. So creating the strategy has given us direction and focus. I've enjoyed developing a content planner which gives us more time when we're posting. We do a lot of work, and we're not very good at showcasing it. So for us storytelling is a huge part of the learning we'll take forward.”
To celebrate the successful completion of the Bolton Digital Skills programme, a special event was held at the University of Bolton stadium. The Mayor of Bolton, Cllr Mohammed Ayub, who was the esteemed guest of honour, presented Certificates of Completion to all participating charity representatives, commending their commitment to enhancing their digital competencies.
Looking ahead, the Bolton Digital Skills programme aims to extend its support to the participants who took part in the initiative. Participants have indicated their strong desire to learn and apply even more skills, in a rapidly evolving digital landscape.Furthermore, the collaborative partnership plans to expand its reach beyond Bolton, encompassing Greater Manchester and engaging with other EFL football clubs. Inspired by the Bolton Wanderers' profound connection with their local communities, this vision seeks to empower charities across the region and foster digital proficiency on a wider scale.
About Bolton Wanderers in the Community:
Bolton Wanderers in the Community is a renowned charitable organisation associated with Bolton Wanderers Football Club. Committed to improving lives through the power of sport, education, and engagement, they actively work to make a positive impact within the local community.
About Bolton CVS: Bolton CVS (Community and Voluntary Services) is a leading infrastructure organisation supporting the voluntary, community, and social enterprise sector in Bolton. They provide guidance, resources, and training to strengthen the capabilities of local charities and promote social change.
About Lightful: Lightful is a pioneering technology company dedicated to empowering social good organisations through innovative digital solutions. They equip nonprofits with the tools and knowledge needed to navigate the digital landscape effectively and maximise their impact.
The persistent gender gap in digital access and skills is preventing women and young girls from unlocking technology’s full potential. Gender justice and reproductive rights organisations have been battling with a huge swell of demand for services, yet they face a severe lack of funding, resources, and digital training to strengthen their organisation and keep up with other sectors.
At Lightful we are on a mission to help nonprofits become better storytellers, communicators and fundraisers, and we believe in the transformative power of digital to help them do this. With more and more individuals turning to online platforms to connect with one another, campaign, share stories, and support the causes they care about, it’s crucial that nonprofits have a strong digital presence as a powerful tool to build trust with their audiences.
Back in November 2022 the Bolton Digital Skills programme launched with the aim of equipping 50 local charities with the confidence and skills needed to thrive in the digital space. The programme was a collaborative initiative made possible by Bolton Wanderers in the Community, a charitable organisation associated with Bolton Wanderers Football Club, and Bolton CVS (Community and Voluntary Services), a leading infrastructure organisation supporting the voluntary, community, and social enterprise sector in Bolton.
Since we first started Lightful many years ago – from the kernel of an idea that has now evolved to an exceptional team delivering exceptional work – we have always stated that technology can and must act as a ‘force for good’. Articulating what that means in practice is not straightforward, yet it is something we have been hard at work on for some time now.
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