Photo of John Thompson talking to Emma Weston OBE, Chief Executive of Digital Unite

Phoenix Community Housing volunteer wins national digital champion award

Updated: 4 June 2019 at 16:00pm

One of our Digital Champions has been named Volunteer Digital Champion of the Year in a national competition!

John Thompson, who is part of our Digital Skills for Work project, volunteers hours of his own time every week to provide mentoring and one-to-one support for Lewisham residents and his fellow volunteers.

In the last nine months alone, he has helped more than 70 people with their digital skills, some of whom he has supported regularly for months.

John said: “Irrespective of age or circumstances, it is becoming increasingly important to get online, otherwise those that fail to embrace the range of new technology and services at their disposal will unfortunately face exclusion. The most important and rewarding thing I’ve done since my full time career ended, is volunteering within my local community.”

We launched Digital Skills for Work, alongside Lewisham Homes and the London Borough of Lewisham, to help jobseekers in our community gain much-needed digital skills. Research shows that those who lack basic digital skills earn £13,000 less than those who have them.

John was named winner at the Digital Champion Achievement Awards ceremony, held at Southwark Cathedral and organised by Digital Unite.

The celebration comes as part of our wider celebration of national Volunteers’ Week (1-7 June).

As a resident-led housing association, Phoenix offers opportunities for volunteers across the organisation, from our weekly Job Club to being part of the running of Phoenix Community Housing right up to our Board.

Anne McGurk, tenant and Chair of our Board, said: “I’m so proud of John and all the volunteers at Phoenix, the work they do helps to bring about positive changes in people’s lives.”