The Digital Life Skills Company CIC

Empowering young people to use the world’s information well.

The Digital Life Skills Company CIC (formerly Digital Resilience) is a social enterprise that exists to help children and young people thrive in a digital world. We do this by upskilling young people – and their parents, teachers, educators – to navigate the internet effectively.

By improving young people’s digital literacy skills we give them better chances in life. With the right capabilities they can seek out practical advice and find support when they need it; they can find and take up employment, education and social opportunities; they can share, connect and collaborate.

Contact us if you would like to help the young people in your life become informed, productive and engaged digital users.

Meet Our Team

Shelley Metcalfe

Co-founder and Director

When Shelley realised there were very few resources to help her two young boys with the complexities of ‘growing up online’, she decided to do something about it. Digital Resilience, was established in 2016 and became The Digital Life Skills Company (CIC) in 2018.

Shelley has spent 20 years working in strategic, creative and operational roles in blue chip, start-up, third sector, client-side and agency environments, and has extensive experience in digital marketing and product development. Her career began in the media, quickly rising to lead the marketing effort for high profile youth magazines including Smash Hits, Sky, The Face, FHM and Empire.

With a degree in English and Philosophy, Shelley returned to education in 2008 and gained an MSc in Responsible Business Practice from Bath University. She’s since devoted her energy to not-for-profit and for-purpose organisations, providing consultancy to charities, social enterprise and purpose-led organisations. Shelley served on the Board and as Marketing Director of an arts charity until 2016.

A believer in the transformational capacity of participative action, Shelley is experienced at designing and delivering programmes for change – skills she is now bringing with great effect to schools.

As a self-confessed media junkie and lover of the outdoors, Shelley is delighted her two boys love being outside almost as much as they love digital media.

Laura Cunningham

Co-founder and Director

Laura wanted to prepare children for their digital life beyond the classroom and soon realised the school curriculum just wasn’t doing enough. She joined forces with Shelley and created Digital Resilience, which later became The Digital Life Skills Company (CIC).

A fully qualified secondary school English teacher Laura has inspired children and adults in various educational settings in the UK and Europe since 2001. She’s enjoyed getting children hooked on seemingly inaccessible Chaucer and communicated across cultures teaching english as a foreign language to adults.

Laura specialises in motivating independent, reflective learning in young people, sharing her passion for language, creative engagement and critical thinking. An advocate of positive online practices and experiences for children from primary school age, Laura develops and delivers materials in digital information literacy.

Laura is proud of a programme which is engaging, collaborative and challenging – using her skills to build trusting relationships and create a secure learning environment. The emphasis is on getting children to think critically to equip them for online life, rather than imparting instructions.

In any spare time, Laura can be found with her head in a good book, or outdoors with her three children, toasting marshmallows…

Lynne Jones

Chair

Lynne is an award-winning current affairs documentary producer and editor with 25 years experience at the BBC. Specialising in hard-hitting, original journalism for flagship programmes such as Radio 4’s File on 4, 5Live Investigates and BBC1’s Panorama, Lynne also managed complex undercover investigations including for the 10 O’Clock News, breaking stories which made newspaper headlines.

In 2009 she co-founded Macclesfield Barnaby Festival which has grown into a much-lauded arts charity. As Festival Manager/Director from 2012 to 2014, Lynne led on programming, fundraising, volunteer management and communications (volunteer roles) and served as Chair of Trustees until 2016.

Lynne is now a freelance executive producer for BBC Radio 4, an independent podcast maker and organiser of TEDxMacclesfield 2019.  She is a Governor of a secondary school and was previously a Trustee for a young people’s charity. Before embarking on a journalistic career she studied Geography, trained as a teacher and travelled extensively in Europe and Africa – she’s now more often found on the hills of northern England.

Rebecca Lancaster

Secretary

Having agonised over how to help her two boys navigate the challenges of the online world, Rebecca found that two friends were already doing something about it. She joined them.

Beki – as she’s known – is a former Officer in the Royal Navy with 20 years experience in training and education management as well as general, operational, HR and executive management. Her approach is to clarify the requirements and ensure the solution meets the brief. As Divisional Officer to young sailors she had an interest in their welfare and personal development, encouraging them to reach their full potential.

As a mother, her desire to support young people continues, minus the uniform. Beki left the military and the south coast for Cheshire’s Peak District in 2013 and maximising time with her two boys is a priority.  She is often to be found at the side of a swimming pool, judo mat, football, rugby or lacrosse pitch.

Having worked as an Operations Manager and then Process Systems Analyst for two local companies, Beki is now taking time out to project manage her self-build.  Wish her luck!

Jennie Thomson

Advisor

The Digital Life Skills Company offered Jennie an opportunity to give something back to the community and young people in particular. While she embraces the huge benefits of the digital world, she’s seen it become all encompassing for some and wants to bring an awareness of the opportunity costs of replacing real life interactions with too many virtual ones.

Jennie is a Chartered Accountant and qualified with big four practice Deloitte in 2007. She spent 8 years with the firm advising a variety of organisations on audit and financial reporting matters, internal controls and best practice in finance transformation (helping companies to address critical issues such as strategy, talent, business processes, and technology).

As Group Financial Controller for an international big data and text analytics business, Jennie manages all aspects of the day-to-day finance and provides support for the Group’s rapid growth.

With two energetic young boys, Jennie is kept occupied with fun and sport! At other times, she can be spotted out running with friends.

Essential digital life skills for children and young people

Primary schools

Our fun and interactive workshops for Key Stage 2 pupils focus on search skills, reliable sources, fact-checking and evaluating evidence.

Secondary schools

Our participative and thought-provoking workshops teach Key Stage 3 students to think critically and consequentially about the digital media they see.

Families and youth groups

We provide practical programmes and workshops for parent groups, youth organisations and family and youth support services.