Author: Adi Khan

Digital Festival 2021

The wait is almost over…

Digital Festival Hounslow begins on Monday 1 November and it will be bigger, bolder and better – join us for a month-long celebration of wellness, technology and all things digital!

This year’s line-up includes some fantastic sessions for colleagues with numerous guest speakers including Microsoft, Amazon and the Society for Innovation, Technology and Modernisation (SOCITM). You can also find out how to get involved in our new Organisational Development, Learning and Leadership Cohort at various events throughout the Festival.

We’ve also got a range of fun and exciting activities for colleagues as part of our ‘fun at the festival’ events – find out more below.

The Festival will also feature a number of bespoke sessions for residents, local community groups and voluntary sector organisations, including workshops on social media and engagement, CV building and accessibility.


Our programme for 2021 is now live! Check out what’s on offer at the festival and start booking your tickets here.


Unique Team Building Ideas for Your Next Corporate Team Meeting - MTI Events

The Digital Festival isn’t all about work and learning.  We have planned some fun challenges which will help you connect as a team.

On the Monday of each week we will set you a fun and varied mini challenge for your team to complete and submit on the Friday. Points are awarded for completion and bonus points for creativity and even being healthy.

We also have one challenge which we will set on the first day of the Festival and you will have 4 weeks to complete which will get you out and about in our wonderful borough.

Don’t Delay! Sign up your team today and brighten up your November: Register here.

The first challenge launches on Monday 1 November at 10am – get more info here!  

Join our Organisational Development, Learning and Leadership Cohort

As part of our Organisational Wellness Strategy we want to create a flourishing workplace where everyone is able to be at their very best.

To support this ambition we’re looking for volunteers from across the Council to join our Organisation Development, Learning and Leadership Cohort. The Cohort will have lots of opportunities to get involved in new wellness initiatives, such as coaching, mentoring, facilitating development sessions and sharing new ideas. 

During November’s Digital Festival we will be running lots of sessions for you to find out more about the Cohort and what’s involved, so join us for;

  •  A virtual ‘hangout’ with the team to learn about who we are and what we do.
  • Complete our ‘Own Your Learning’ sessions, which will be on areas related to our world.
  • Join a weekly LifeClubs webinar, where you’ll explore areas related to each of our four Landmarks to help you Connect, Belong, Grow and Flourish.
  • Take part in our workshops about the big conversation we want to have and how you can support us.

You can find out more about the Organisation Development, Learning and Leadership Cohort by clicking here.

Learn Hounslow

Digital Skills Course offer for Adults

Learn Hounslow is a provider of Adult and Community Education and is part of the London Borough of Hounslow. The teaching and learning provided is funded by the Greater London Authority’s Adult Education Budget (AEB). Learn Hounslow is an Ofsted ‘good’ provider where the information, advice and guidance offered is Matrix accredited.

There is a wide range of courses on offer: such as short informal courses, qualifications, or courses to enhance your employability, business, and personal development. Learn Hounslow provides course subjects across different curriculum areas. Their aim is to empower residents to realise their full potential and achieve their own goals.

The Digital Skills course offer includes a variety of digital skill courses for learners with different abilities.  

Learn Hounslow offers the following FREE Digital Skills courses for all – regardless of their financial circumstances! Choose from:

  • Digital Skills for complete beginners,
  • Essential Digital Skills qualification (Entry 3 and Level 1),
  • Microsoft Office Basics (for new users),
  • Essential Digital Skills qualification for ESOL learners.

Learn Hounslow also offers courses for adults who wish to improve their existing digital skills. Fees may apply for these courses.

If you wish to improve your digital skills or you are interested in gaining a qualification which may lead to a change in career, contact Learn Hounslow to find out more about the following courses:

  • – Microsoft Office Intermediate (non-qualification course),
  • – Spreadsheets and Word Processing Level 2 qualification.

The new Practitioner Qualification offer

Learn Hounslow has recently introduced a NEW Practitioner qualification offer. These courses include:

  • Cybersecurity Level 1 & 2
  • Introduction to Programming – Level 1 & 2
  • Introduction to Networking – Level 1 & 2

Participants on a Practitioner course must be assessed prior to starting the course. 

The syllabus is such that candidates should complete a Level 1 qualification before progressing on to a Level 2 qualification.  Learn Hounslow teaches towards Level 1 at the start of the academic year before moving onto Level 2.

Lastly, you do not have to pay any course fees if you meet the following criteria:  

  • – You are in paid employment and earn less than (£10.85 p/h) £21,157.50 annual gross salary OR
  • – You are unemployed, looking for work and in receipt of a means tested benefit.

Visit for more information and to browse through the latest courses available.

Call 020 8583 6000 to book a pre-course assessment, enrol onto a course, or find out more information.

Pick up a Learn Hounslow prospectus at your local library (in Hounslow borough) or visit Meadowbank Adult Education centre in Cranford to find out more about our service. We are open from Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm.

New online Registrar Services

Sue Hayter – Assistant Director of Customers, Libraries, Registrations and Culture tells us about the new online Registrar Services.

Previously, residents would have to call in to use the Registrar Service. We are excited to have launched a new service that enables residents to book appointments online for births, deaths, marriages, and civil partnerships.

Once booked residents are sent confirmation of their appointment via text and/or email with a reminder of any documentation they need to bring for the appointment.

As well as booking appointments, people will also be able to make payments in advance for the services and any additional certificates they may need.

Residents will also be able to cancel and rebook appointments without the need to call using the link provided in the email and text.

How the new service is getting on?

So far, the uptake has been great. In just the first ten days, we’ve already seen:

· 84% of births registered online

· 60% of deaths registered online

· 92% of marriage notices made online

For the moment we will be offering a phone service to support our customers who have difficulty accessing the online service. This will be reviewed regularly with a view of making this a fully digital service.

This new service means that residents have access to the service 24/7 via a simple form, with choice of dates and times of appointments, email confirmations and reminders for customers. This in return removes the need to use the time consuming telephone booking system.

This is the first phase of Hounslow’s Registration Services going digital so keep an eye out for a future post of what’s coming up.

My first three months at Hounslow

As the new Strategic Relationship and Programmes Manager at Hounslow, I have had a fantastic time in my first three months and have really got a good flavour of how we connect our communities in order to design consistent services across the authority.  Currently, I manage the strategic and support teams within Digital & IT and as part of that work I lead the teams delivering the range of different programmes ensuring that everything we do aligns with the overall Digital Strategy and the portfolio roadmap. 

Joining the family

Starting a new role during a world pandemic is never easy as I didn’t have the opportunity to meet my colleagues face-to-face and especially when we look around the world and notice that so many organisations are down-sizing, making redundancies and even shutting multi-billion pound companies down as they are not able to survive, but Hounslow has done quite the opposite actually.  I have been made to feel extremely welcomed by Simon Klee (Head of Digital Transformation) and furthermore, he has made it seamlessly possible in getting me really involved across all the teams in their delivery of work and to drive change in order to better the lives of Hounslow residents.  Simon was absolutely right when he told me on my first day that he will ensure I fit into the Digital & IT family and that is exactly how I feel, a part of the family.

Building my team

I have had the opportunity to really influence the recruitment drive across the Digital & IT team and have worked closely with my colleagues to make this happen.  Hannah Rixon (Programme Lead) and Shireen Green (PMO Team Lead) have been a pleasure to work with and have really supported me in decision making processes and across the organisation with the day to day activities that I have been tasked with during my first three months here.  This has really assisted me in focussing on what needs to be delivered as part of the overall Digital Strategy.  So far, I have managed to recruit a handful of Project Delivery Managers, a PMO Team Lead, a Programme Lead and also a Strategic Lead who will be responsible for line managing the Business Relationship Managers (who form such a fundamental part of my overall team).  I am continuing the recruitment drive with Alison Venning (Digital Transformation Consultant) and Alison Bellamy (Digital Consultant) who have been vital in making sure we follow the correct processes in our campaigns.

The One Hounslow approach

As part of the One Hounslow Framework that forms part of the Digital Strategy, I have worked closely with Claire Brookes-Daniels (One Hounslow Programme Director) in determining the processes of how the workstream should operate and although I have been in the role for only three months, I have had the opportunity to help shape the process-flow from an early stage.  This really showcases how the Digital and IT team like to have new, fresh and innovative ideas to help map a process going forward and really engage staff across the whole team when communicating changes.

Local Government Strategy Forum

As we see the government guidelines towards lockdown and social distancing easing and events opening up, it was an absolute delight to meet Mark Lumley (Director of Digital and IT) in person at the Local Government Strategy Forum that took place at the stunning venue of Heythrop Park and Resorts Hotel in Oxfordshire.

Mark Lumley at the Local Government Strategy Forum
Mark Lumley at the Local Government Strategy Forum

Mark was a guest speaker and spoke about how we engage with our communities to understand our user needs and journeys.  He delivered a presentation on how we have evolved the Community Hub into our Community Solutions model, aiming to be more preventative in our approach that is delivered by us alongside the voluntary sector, local charities, and public sector partners. 

I personally learnt a lot from having the chance to attend this event and it was a great networking opportunity for me at such an early stage of my role, which additionally demonstrates the upskilling of the workforce that makes Hounslow proud.

Adi Khan at the Local Government Strategy Forum
Adi Khan at the Local Government Strategy Forum

Exciting times ahead for Hounslow

At Hounslow, we all thrive to discuss solutions rather than the problems.  If this has been my experience working remotely, I can’t wait to work with my whole team in person.  It will be phenomenal and I look forward to ensuring that I embrace and lead on the responsibilities involved in driving the change in order to put the residents at the heart of all the decisions I make for the exciting time ahead.