Helping develop digital skills

17 Jun 2020 10:35
Published by: Scott Callan

Stockport’s ‘DigiKnow’ Alliance is calling for more volunteers to help people in the borough gain important digital skills.

The project has been working for more than two years to help “digitally excluded” people through its regular face-to-face sessions with Digital Champion volunteers.

A spokesman said: “Since the lockdown, we’ve adapted the ways we support people, re-training Digital Champions to deliver sessions via Zoom and introducing a new DigiKnow Helpline for telephone support, but we really need more volunteers.

“We have also been working hard to provide devices and data for those residents who don’t have the means to access the internet.

“Through a combination of projects supported by the Department for Education, the ‘DevicesDotNow’ scheme and Stockport Council funds, we have already distributed several hundred devices to Stockport residents in need.

“A further award has also been made by Stockport Local Fund: Community Support to fund a digital device lending library and more information will follow on this exciting project.”

Kate Butler, Stockport Council cabinet member for citizen focus and engagement, said: “We are continuing to do all we can to help?our?residents benefit from the internet, by increasing access to devices and connectivity and introducing new methods of delivering digital skills support.

“Whether to complete school work, order shopping online, find information or maintain your social connections, digital skills are essential.

“We couldn’t do this without the help of our community partners and volunteer Digital Champions who have been working hard to adapt their ways of working during the Coronavirus pandemic.

“We’re looking for more volunteer Digital Champions to be trained to help people get online. If you could spare some time to help people, please call our DigiKnow Helpline.”

To volunteer as a Digital Champion, you only need basic digital skills as there’s video training to teach you ways to support learners.

Volunteer Paddy McDonald said: “You get a kick out of teaching them and they get a kick out of learning. It works both ways. You feel so good at the end of it when someone’s learnt something. Everybody can learn, can’t they? It’s just a matter of getting the right help.”

If you could spare some time to help people, by phone or video, call the DigiKnow Helpline on 07537 127095.

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