Celebrating a Milestone: Lead Scotland Wins the SCVO Scottish Charity Awards Digital Difference Award

We are thrilled to announce that Lead Scotland has been honoured with the prestigious Digital Difference Award at the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) Scottish Charity Awards.  

2 staff members and 2 trustees attending the Scottish Charity Awards

Pioneering Digital Inclusion 

At Lead Scotland, our mission is to support disabled individuals and carers to become empowered through personalised learning opportunities, befriending support, helpline advice and information. In recent years, we recognised the immense potential of digital technology to enhance our services and reach even more people who are at risk of being left behind. This award underscores our dedication to digital inclusion and the transformative power it holds for those we serve. 

A quote from our CEO, Emma Whitelock: “We are absolutely thrilled to win the Digital Difference category at the prestigious 2024 Scottish Charity Awards. Too many disabled people have been exposed to online risks through a lack of accessible information about how to stay safe online in the face of evolving cyber threats. Our cyber project works hard with disabled people and partners including the National Cyber Security Centre and the Cyber Scotland Partnership to create accessible resources to close that gap. This Award is fantastic recognition for team and our wider partners. It will really help us raise the profile of this important work”. 

A member of staff being interviewed by the host

Source: https://twitter.com/scvotweet/status/1803893367962468587

Innovative Initiatives 

Our journey to this recognition has been marked by several innovative initiatives aimed at bridging the digital divide: 

  • Cyber Safety Workshops: We conduct a series of workshops focused on different aspects of online safety. These workshops cover topics such as creating strong passwords, recognising phishing attempts, understanding privacy settings on social media, and safe online shopping practices. Each session is designed to be accessible and interactive, ensuring that participants can easily grasp and apply the concepts. 
  • Accessible Learning Materials: Understanding that one size does not fit all, we have developed a range of accessible learning materials. These include easy-read guides, instructional videos with subtitles, and screen reader-compatible documents. Our materials are crafted to meet the diverse needs of our community, ensuring that everyone can benefit. 
  • My Lead: The My LEAD platform, built by JP Morgan and Chase and Lead Scotland, offers a variety of free online courses focused on enhancing digital literacy and safety. These courses cover topics such as online banking security, social media safety, and managing digital footprints. The platform is designed to support inclusive education, helping individuals develop essential digital skills. Lead Scotland, a charity focused on linking education and disability, provides these resources to promote accessibility and empower users with the knowledge needed to navigate the digital world securely. 
  • Cyber Awareness Campaigns: Raising awareness about cyber threats and safe practices is a continuous effort. We run regular campaigns on social media and through our network of partners to disseminate important information and updates about the latest cyber risks. These campaigns help keep our community informed and vigilant. 
  • Collaborations and Partnerships: We collaborate with various organisations and tech companies to enhance our offerings. These partnerships enable us to provide up-to-date information and leverage the latest tools and technologies to support our mission. For example, our partnership with cybersecurity firms allows us to offer expert-led sessions and access to cutting-edge security tools. 


Community Impact 

The impact of our digital initiatives has been profound. We have seen first hand how technology can open doors to new opportunities, foster independence, and improve quality of life. Here is a story from our community that highlight the difference we are making: 

  • One Learner’s Experience: We run a level 4 qualification in Cyber Security Fundamentals and Internet Safety, and it is fair to say that this award has been transformational for some of our learners – one learner gained their award after a lengthy period of unemployment, and the skills, and more importantly, the confidence they gained in this qualification meant they were able to successfully get their ‘dream job’ within local government. The materials were originally produced by Education Scotland for school-aged learners, and we have adapted them to adult learning, and also updated them to reflect the ever-changing cyber landscape. We have shared these resources with other SQA centres – recently, a higher education college has run this course for a cohort of 45 learners. If you work for an SQA centre, we can share these resources with you so that you too can run this award. 


Looking Ahead 

The success of the Cyber Project and winning this Award has inspired us to further expand our efforts. We plan to introduce advanced topics such as secure use of mobile devices, using AI safely, and more. Additionally, we aim to reach more remote and underserved areas, ensuring that everyone, regardless of location, has access to vital cyber safety education. 

All of the winners from the Scottish Charity Awards

Source: https://twitter.com/scvotweet/status/1804076680018796711

Winning the SCVO Digital Difference Award has reinforced our belief in the power of digital initiatives to transform lives. We are excited to continue our journey, supporting disabled people and carers across Scotland to navigate the digital world more confidently and securely. 

Thank you for your support and dedication to our cause. Together, we are making the digital world a safer and more inclusive place for everyone. 

To read more about the other winners visit the SCVO website 

For more information about our services and how you can get involved, visit the dedicated Cyber Project page or follow us on social media for updates. 

Winner Digital Difference

Lead Scotland is a charity dedicated to enabling and supporting disabled people and carers to become more empowered through learning, befriending, and advice. We believe in a fair society where everyone can access the opportunities they need to reach their full potential.


This project is funded by the Scottish Government Cyber Resilience Team