Volunteers needed to teach digital skills

By John Charlton

Oxfordshire County Council has launched a new campaign appealing for digital helper volunteers to teach basic digital skills to people in their community.

Digital helpers teach basic digital skills to people with little or no experience of using computers or the internet. They volunteer in libraries, providing one-to-one support and encouragement to boost confidence and help people to help themselves. Digital helpers teach skills such as how to set up an email account, search for jobs, complete online forms, navigate the internet and find useful websites, and use e-learning courses.

Teaching digital skills has lots of benefits. It enables others to access employment and training, use online services, become more independent and less isolated. But starting to do anything online when you don’t know how can be daunting. That’s where digital helpers come in!

Brian Day, digital helper at Grove Library said “With the move to more and more things going online, some people can perhaps feel digitally isolated. By doing this and encouraging them I can help give them a little bit of confidence to give it a try. It’s two hours a week and it’s easy to fit in. If anyone’s interested in volunteering, I’d say come along and give it a go – most of the questions aren’t that hard!”

If you are patient, have good communication skills, enjoy working with learners of all ages and can spare a few hours a week, then Oxfordshire County Council would like to hear from you. Schedules can work around you so that you can fit it around your busy life.

Visit or contact your local library to find out about volunteering as a digital helper and helping people in your area.