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      Meet our digital skills officers

      Our digital skills officers are the people who run our Online Today training sessions along with our wonderful volunteers.

      Briege Lavery, Northern Ireland

      When I started working in the public sector in 1988, there were a number of deaf people in the workplace so being able to communicate with them was part of my job. I joined a course and started learning BSL and I'm now trained to BSL level 4.

      It's great to be able to assist people with hearing loss, showing them the positive benefits that technology brings so that they don’t feel isolated from this digital world. I love showing people what they can do with technology and to see the surprise on their faces when they see how it can make their lives easier.

      I would love to see everyone included in the digital world so that they don’t miss out on the convenience of having the world at your fingertips.

      Simon Blakeman, England

      I am a father of four children ranging from ages 14 to five. I love theatre and enjoying nature. I really enjoy making artwork and I often use digital technology to help me with that.

      I have a lot of time for the internet, and I believe it has a hugely valuable place in the world today. But, I also think that the digital world can be overwhelming, and can have the potential to be somewhat addictive (I speak from experience!), so I’m very keen to promote balance.

      I love jargon busting! I believe that there's power in language, and I notice this directly, when running an Online Today session, people start to understand more and more about a topic, simply by knowing what certain jargon-like phrases actually mean.

      I want to be part of making sure that people have access to learning about the skills needed to make the most of it.

      Lee Bateman, Wales

      I’m a family man through and through, I thoroughly enjoy spending time with my five wonderful children and my very patient wife. I have a passion for using technology to assist in people’s lives and have two children with hearing loss.

      I was previously awarded a certificate of 'Service to Wales' by the Welsh Assembly for Digital Inclusion and couldn’t wish for a better way to use my skills than by changing people’s lives for the better.

      I love to see the reaction on people’s faces when they first hear about the many ways that technology can be used to enrich their lives. Then comes the look they give when they use the technology for the first time, and finally, the realisation that technology can be used in everyday situations to make life easier.

      Michael Woodburn, Scotland

      I have a genuine interest in using digital technology and enjoy teaching myself how to create and edit videos. I came to work with Online Today because I have worked with people who have sensory impairments for over 10 years now.

      I enjoy working with people and the different dynamic of each group. What I love the most is giving people enough information to be able to keep in touch with their friends and family across the world.

      Feel inspired?

      If you'd like to volunteer to help run an Online Today session, see Volunteer with Online Today