Rich joined Citizens Online in 2015 and as Managing Director has overall responsibility for programmes of work, including local digital inclusion and skills partnerships, digital leadership, policy and research, monitoring and evaluation, Tech4Good, digital maturity, digital champion development and skills training.
His key influence has been in developing Citizens Online’s award winning, whole system approach to tackling digital exclusion. The method (called “Switch”) has been tried and tested in as far reaching locations as the Scottish Highlands, Northern Ireland, Harrogate, Gwynedd and Anglesey in Wales, Plymouth, Brighton & Hove, Dorset, Surrey and Kent. ‘Switch’ has helped thousands of people improve their digital confidence and skills and continues to be a learning process, the model being adapted for each new project.
Central to the Switch model are researching and creating a local evidence base, collaboration and partnership development, asset based commissioning, digital champions (buddies, or friends etc.) and building resilient and sustainable resourcing networks.
Rich has over 14 years of prior local government experience, including senior management of homelessness, rough sleeping, housing, integrated health and social care services. His diverse background in both strategic commissioning and operational delivery has informed his digital inclusion work with ‘hands on’ experience in complex needs settings, delivering 24/7 services, 365 days a year. A keen tech and systems change advocate, Rich has a deep understanding of ‘what works’ in a real-time space; off the pages of the policy papers and research reports, bringing digital inclusion and skills to life.