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Search for volunteers for Dorset's Digital Champions

Office Computer Business

Published at 9:00am 17th February 2019.

Extra volunteers are needed for Dorset’s Digital Champions project.

The volunteers help people get online for the first time and work with others to improve their basic digital skills.

Around fifty are already trained but more are needed mainly to work in community centres or libraries on one afternoon or morning a week.

Although council funding for work the champions do with Universal Credit claims in Weymouth, Dorchester. Bridport and Swanage is finishing at the end of March organisers say their other work continues to grow and goes from strength to strength.

“It’s a huge success, with new champions joining the 50, who are already trained and supporting people, all the time. People can call 01305 221048 during office hours and we will book them onto the nearest, most convenient session for them,” said a spokesman.

“Digital Champions help people get online for the first time or help them improve their basic digital skills so they can benefit from online savings, health or leisure information and work/training opportunities.”

The services believes that around 150,000 people in Dorset lack basic digital skills and around half have never been online. While many of them are older, the team also know that digital exclusion runs alongside social deprivation which means the biggest users of public services are often least able to access them online.

For people who want to join in a session and improve their skills they can also call 01305 221048 and we can be booked onto a session near them. Alternatively they can go into their local library and ask about Digital Champions.

Additional Digital Champions are especially needed in Shaftesbury, Blandford, Lyme Regis and Sherborne but are also welcome in other areas. Volunteers need to be confident with – but not experts in – a range of digital technologies and platforms and help and training is provided.

By Local Democracy Reporter, Trevor Bevins

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