What we can do for you

Volunteering – we work with community groups, understanding their needs and helping to build vibrant support for young people. That relies on a reliable pool of volunteers that are as passionate about supporting young people as we are.

We don’t need Professors of Complicated Computer Science; we do need people that are comfortable with a laptop and are good problem solvers.

DigiLocal industry volunteers at our recent celebration event

The phrases a volunteer will use most when something ‘goes wrong’ are: ‘Describe to me what actually happened’ – ‘Explain to me what should have happened’ : quite often at that point the young person will spot their ‘error’ and self correct it. The next stage is to ‘Read your code to me / show me on your screen where it should have done that but didn’t’. As a safety net the volunteer can always ask – ‘Show me where you are in the Project Guide, does your code look like the picture there?’

We manage all the technology, so your staff would just need to arrive a few minutes early to plug the laptops in and log into their club account. The laptops will automagically connect to wifi and file synchronisation takes place in the background. We look after updates and security policies for the equipment.

All our laptops have loads (over 90 at last count) of project guides for the young people to follow. Your staff don’t have to think of what to do at this week’s club, just continue working on last week’s project (if it wasn’t completed) or move on to another from the library. If your staff do come up with challenges and projects, fantastic! But we appreciate they also have a full-time job with you, and probably other things to be doing during the week other than coming up with cool ideas for their club.

All our volunteers require a Disclosure and Barring Service check (DBS). While we don’t do that ourselves, we work closely with STEM Learning who can provide free DBS checks to STEM Ambassadors. This is a simple online registration process and physical check with a regional Hub, we are good friends with our local hub and can help your staff here as well.

We have a fully-compliant GDPR contact management system, so we handle all the communications with parents, the waiting list, etc. We aim to update folks on key changes, but not to spam people’s in-box. As clubs run continuously on a rolling basis (see below, Time commitment) we don’t send reminders for each club session. We will send exception notices, e.g if a club has to be cancelled for any reason, or if a club has taken a break we’ll send a reminder that it’s about to restart.

Time commitment

Our clubs meet for 1 hour, each week. Allowing for setting up and packing away, that’s about 90 min per week for a volunteer.

Each club needs 2 volunteers each week for safeguarding. If you have a team of 3 or 4 volunteers, they can manage their time as a team and provide cover for holidays, work / personal emergencies, etc. We can do this for you, but generally find it’s easier if folks manage this themselves.

Our clubs normally run throughout the year. We will always discuss with volunteers and parents what happens over holiday periods. If everyone is away for a couple of weeks, or the volunteers would like a break to recharge, then we’ll take a break.

Volunteer supporting young people

What you can do for us

Actually one of the best things you can do for us is introduce us to your staff and support them in volunteering with us.

DigiLocal was set up as part of a startup non-profit within the high tech startup sector of Bristol (widely regarded as one of the best regions for tech startups globally). We’re actually very efficient at what we do, and how we scale our support. What we can’t scale are individual volunteers.

Having said that, we are a charity and rely on donations from industry, individuals, and some grant applications. There are operational costs to meet. Please talk to us about how to maximise the value of your gift to us.