Supporting small local charities to use digital in a way that’s comfortable for them by using the Charity Digital Code of Practice.

Case Study: One Knowsley

One Knowsley is a small charity that supports other local community groups in Knowsley, Merseyside. One Knowsley provides the expertise and support to help voluntary, community, faith and not-for-profit to start, grow, build resilience, establish enterprise and have a visible and valued role within the borough. They have been increasing their own use of digital tools, as well as encouraging local groups to do the same.


“For me, it was a case of ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’. It’s not my comfort zone, but once we understood the opportunities that digital could bring, we had to go for it.”


Racheal Jones

Chief Executive, One Knowsley and Code Champion

The Challenge

One Knowsley’s Chief Executive, Racheal Jones, says finding the confidence to embrace digital can be difficult for individuals and charities. She says:

“For me, it was a case of ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’. It’s not my comfort zone, but once we understood the opportunities that digital could bring, we had to go for it.”

She explains that many  groups they work with are led by volunteers, many of whom are digitally excluded for a variety of reasons. Getting them online meant a real culture change, which had to start with understanding what works and is accessible for them.

The Solution

The Charity Digital Code of practice provided what Jones calls “a trail of breadcrumbs” to help One Knowsley find the resources to offer leadership. They identified funding to run a digital project to support local groups to get online. A big cultural challenge was explaining that it’s not just about social media, which a lot of the groups were wary of. 

For some, it was as simple as setting up cloud storage so volunteers could work together on a document. Others have set up a WhatsApp group to engage with volunteers. It is about working with them to make sure the value is right for their organisation.


The Results

The biggest success is local groups telling One Knowsley that they no longer need their support with digital - they have adopted it into their culture. Some groups were completely paper and phone based before, so it has been a real culture shift. One volunteer was amazed to learn how easy it was to add things up in a spreadsheet, which means he now spends more time working with the people they support. Others report that they have more diversity in people attending their community yoga group, thanks to their facebook presence. 

The Code in 7 Weeks

If you want to help your charity use digital to increase its impact, persuade your leadership team to support digital or understand how your charity can follow best practice, why not sign up to a weekly e-mail for the next 7 weeks to help you get started with the Code?


“Like any organisation, charities can learn a lot about what they do, who they serve and the impact they have, by drawing on their data."


Giselle Cory

Executive Director, DataKind UK and Code Champion

“It’s no longer good enough as a Chief Executive to say:
‘I don’t do digital’.”


James Blake

CEO, YHA (England and Wales) and Code Champion