Computer skills for all
Online digital skills for all
These days everything seems to be on a website, and if you aren’t sure how to use a computer you can feel left behind. This doesn’t have to be the case.
There are free online courses to learn digital skills and stay safe and connected through the handy online training tool Learn My Way
If you are a tenant of a social landlord, speak to them to see if they give any support in your area.
National Careers Service provides a variety of computer essentials courses, all free of charge.
The Shropshire Digital Skills Programme
We’re helping residents to get to grips with the internet and make the most out of being online. From 2023 to 2026, more than 2,000 people will be able to access free help through a network of council-funded friendly digital learning hubs offering one-to-one support from tech-savvy volunteers.
People most in need can access this free programme, and to be eligible, one or more of the following criteria must apply:
- Be over 65 years
- Live alone
- Be in receipt of a means-tested benefit or on a low income
- Provide unpaid care for a friend or family member who can’t manage without your help
- Receiving paid or unpaid care
- Have a disability or health condition
For eligible people, free digital support is available in many Shropshire Libraries, please contact your local branch for more information.
As well as libraries, a number of other organisations are funded by the council to provide free digital skills tuition, including:
- Qube in Oswestry: 01691 656882
- The Mayfair Community Centre in Church Stretton: 01694 722077
- Hands Together in Ludlow: 01584 817250
- 4 All Foundation at the Zone Community Hub in Market Drayton: 07849 351854 or 01630 653980
- G.O.A.L. in Wem: 01939 252869 or 01939 234489
- Barnabas Community Projects in Shrewsbury: 07421 745857
- The Roy Fletcher Centre in Shrewsbury: 01743 341300
- BizEd Projects in Whitchurch: 07774 692151
Enable – digital support for people receiving support into employment and/or training: 01743 276900
- Taking Part - digital support for people with learning difficulties: 01743 363399
- Sight Loss Shropshire - digital support for people with visual impairment: 07778 956096
For more information, contact the centre that’s nearest to you, or the one that can best meet your needs.
As well as one-to-one support, we have a limited number of free devices and free connectivity to the internet for participants unable to afford their own.
Digital support takes place in a fun and relaxed atmosphere, with volunteers offering support in a friendly, welcoming, and supportive space.
We’re leading the way with this unique service and sharing ideas and best practice with other Councils looking to develop similar services across the UK.
For information about the Shropshire Digital Skills Programme, please contact Andrea Miller firstname.lastname@example.org
Feedback from those who have received support
This initiative makes a positive difference to the lives of Shropshire residents and feedback is very positive, scoring an impressive 9 out of 10 in our participants’ survey. The learners who have joined our skills programme so far have been delighted by their achievements. They would really like to encourage people who may feel nervous, to be brave and take their first steps into improving their digital confidence, so that they too, can make use of the benefits that having these skills can bring.
“My digital volunteer was so knowledgeable and patient. His kindness helped me realise that I knew a lot more than I thought I did. Getting out of the house each week to learn something new gave me a boost and I thoroughly enjoyed my sessions. The internet is now part of my everyday life; I feel safer online and my confidence with technology has grown thanks to this excellent Shropshire Council service.”
Peter Lyttle, Shrewsbury
“I was a complete beginner; I didn’t even know how to switch my laptop on! At the Mayfair Centre everyone was friendly and welcoming, and I looked forward to my weekly learning sessions. It’s wonderful that this service is free, if I’d had to pay to learn I would have felt more resentful and probably would have put it off. We have to learn to live with technology and older people need to change to keep up. You can wait over an hour for help on the phone, but a solution can be found online in moments. For me, it’s been a very positive experience.”
Angela Green, Church Stretton
“The internet has grown and developed so fast, I felt a total lack of confidence with my laptop, and it got me down. Getting one-to-one help from my digital volunteer each week at the library has given me a positive new outlook. I look forward to being online now and feel much better about life in general – it’s been fantastic.
Helen Whiteley, Ludlow
Want to help others?
We’ve been inundated by people desperate for an opportunity to get help.
Our network of learning centres is always on the look-out for new volunteers who are able to give a few hours of support each week to motivated, enthusiastic learners. Helping someone overcome their fears and grow more confident online can be both inspiring and rewarding. As a volunteer, you could help people learn how to order their medication quickly and easily, feel safe online, get food shopping delivered to their door and enjoy regular video calls with their friends and family so they feel less isolated.
If you have lots of patience, a reasonable level of IT literacy and a sense of humour, we’d love to hear from you. It can be a great way to meet new people, develop your own skills and gain satisfaction in knowing that you are helping others.
For information on becoming a digital volunteer in Shropshire, contact email@example.com