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Lloyds Banking Group’s long-term, public commitment to digital inclusion has been recognised with its Digital Champions programme receiving a commendation at the Ethical Corporation’s Responsible Business Awards.

In its Helping Britain Prosper Plan, the Group committed to recruiting 20,000 Digital Champions by the end of 2017. Currently, more than 18,000 colleagues have registered to become Digital Champions, making it the largest volunteering network of its kind in the UK.

Digital Champions pledge to improve the digital skills of at least two individuals, businesses or charities each year.  So far over 70% of Digital Champions have fulfilled their pledge, with many supporting an average of three people or organisations – equating to more than 35,000 individuals, businesses or charities receiving digital upskilling support. Digital Champions are based across the UK and come from all parts of the Group, from apprentices to Board directors:

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Once signed up, Digital Champions have access to bespoke training, developed with the Tinder Foundation, to equip them to make a real impact in the digital skills sector. On average, 1,000 colleagues carry out this training monthly and over 8,000 colleagues have already completed the training.

The difference that the Digital Champions are making at a local level is clear to see. Since January 2016, over 320 individuals have visited the weekly DigiZones set up by Digital Champions in the Lloyds Bank Croydon and Lewisham branches. Customer feedback has shown that the DigiZones are being used by members of the community who are not Lloyds Banking Group customers, and that of these 320 individuals many have returned for further support. The success of these DigiZones has inspired a wider roll out at eight Bank of Scotland branches.

In addition, over 2,700 Halifax Digital Champions have taken part in a first of its kind partnership with the Society of Chief Librarians. The initiative was designed to support some of the six million adults in the UK who have never used the internet, to get online.

Commenting on the commendation, Nick Williams, Consumer Digital Director, said: “We know that some individuals, businesses and charities lack basic digital skills and may miss out on the benefits of being online. Our Digital Champions are doing a fantastic job in helping these individuals and organisation across the UK to gain and improve digital skills. I’m extremely proud that the network has been recognised at the Responsible Business awards.”

Kamal Hothi, Head of Colleague Volunteering Fund Raising at Lloyds Banking Group, adds: “With more than 18,000 colleagues from across the Group becoming Digital Champions, we have one of the largest volunteering networks in the UK; helping thousands of individuals and organisations to make the most of the digital opportunity. At Lloyds Banking Group, we want to support our colleagues volunteering activities to have a lasting impact in local communities, and this is exactly what the Digital Champions are doing in supporting others to learn or develop digital capabilities.”

If you think your organisation would benefit from the support of a Lloyds Banking Group Digital Champion you can visit the UK Online Centre website and register for support.

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