Dorset Digital Hotline helping people during lockdown

Dorset Digital Hotline helping people during lockdown

Published by Maria Greenwood at 7:14am 29th April 2020.

A helpline set up to help people in Dorset connect to the internet during the lockdown has had 50 calls in its first three weeks.

Dorset Digital Hotline supports those with IT and digital problems and helps them stay connected with family and friends.

It's run by volunteers, mostly made up of retired IT professionals.

Andy Hargreaves helped a woman who was having problems with her tablet. He said: 

"One lady I helped this week uses her iPad to keep in touch with her family via Facetime. 

"She told me that she couldn't hear her family speaking to her clearly on her calls because the sound on the iPad was distorted. I helped her to correct the problem over the phone and soon it was working properly. 

"She said to me that if she wasn't in isolation she would come over and give me a hug because the iPad was her lifeline now to the outside world."

typing laptop computer old hands digital

They're offering a range of support:

  • helping families with digital applications for homeschooling
  • providing help to get online for home shopping
  • support for all digital NHS services and e-Consult
  • setting up video calls such as Skype and Facetime to keep in contact with friends and family
  • support to use all digital appliances and solve problems
  • using digital to exercise at home and keep fit

Councillor Gary Suttle, Dorset Council's Portfolio Holder for Economic Growth and Skills said: 

"We have recently supported people booking medical appointments online, helped a community village website set up What's App to share residents photos of their lives during lockdown, set up video calls with friends and family and lots more. 

"There has never been a time when it has been more important for people to feel connected.

"It can make all the difference between being utterly alone and isolated and being part of a community that cares and wants everyone to feel they are cared for." 


The Dorset Digital Hotline Number is:  01305 221000 (select option 2)

Monday to Friday from 10 am to 12 noon (except Bank Holidays) or leave a message.