Stockport residents try out new digital skills during successful Get Online Week

People tried out a wide range of new digital activities for daily life, better health, work skills and just fun!

Stockport residents try out new digital skills during successful Get Online Week

A few weeks ago, we took part in Get Online Week, the UK's biggest digital inclusion campaign. We used the week to help Stockport residents get online or improve their digital skills and learn how to access digital services. We ran over seventy sessions at the One Stockport Hub in Merseyway and ten other locations across Stockport and finished the week with a Digifun day of family activities at the Hub.

Some of the things we helped people do were:

  • learn how to send images
  • download the Facebook app and create a Facebook account
  • make a Council Tax payment online
  • keep personal information safe online
  • discover and use free online games for children
  • report a faulty streetlight online
  • learn how to access the free to use computers
  • search for jobs, upload a CV, and apply for jobs
  • use hashtags on social media
  • discover health and wellbeing websites
  • complete an online application form for a blue badge parking permit
  • bank and get low-cost loans online
  • purchase laptops and other devices at a reasonable price
  • explore the world of YouTube
  • download free e-books, newspapers and magazines
  • research family history
  • access job coaching and outfits for women returning to work
  • get support with adult reading
  • applying for community funding

Over the week, over 1,400 residents attended the sessions, 400 Life Leisure apps were downloaded, and information about DigiKnow support reached thousands more Stockport residents and businesses.

Rebecca Jackson and her daughter, Jasmine, aged 5, came in for the DigiFun day. Rebecca said: "Jasmine loves coming to the library. She loves to get involved with any of the activities that are set up by the staff. She likes learning new things and joining in."

Hardev Singh, who attended Stockport College's Digital Skills MOT, said: "After 40 years of raising a family and never having touched a computer, I decided to do something about it. I felt so empowered that I have decided to progress as I have understood the importance of digital skills. The fact that these courses are being held in accessible places taking into consideration parents' timings is commendable".

A jobseeker attending the Hub for help with online job search and applications said: "Stockport JobsMatch have been very helpful. They showed me how to open an account so that I could upload my CV and save it ready to send to job applications. I also learned how to save shortlisted jobs so I can come back to them and apply at different times and it saves me writing everything down, which is difficult because I'm dyslexic. I've applied for one job at a school and another two health and social care jobs. Having someone go through it with me was really helpful."

Phylargia Gosvami, a regular user of the free to use computers said: "I've been all over the place trying to find computers. I can use the library but prefer it here - this Hub is wonderful. It's a great location and has very friendly people. I mainly use the computers for email, admin and YouTube."

Maria Puig, an English Language Group Leader who visited the Hub with around 50 learners, said: "Our learners really enjoyed the visit and thought it was very beneficial in terms of being aware of the many different options available to get some help with getting online. We didn't know there was so much out there! They found the info about the shop where they can acquire a device at a reasonable price especially useful. Our learners were very enthusiastic about visiting the shop. The Read Easy scheme is also a very useful activity for our learners as this is a much-needed skill in our daily life. We will discuss the info in the leaflet in class next week, and we will be encouraging them to join."

Councillor David Sedgwick, Cabinet Member for Citizen Focus and Engagement, said: "All in all, we think it was a very successful Get Online Week. But getting online doesn't just happen during that week. If you're not online yet, or you're not very confident at using the internet, you can get the support you need by calling the DigiKnow Helpline on 07537 127 095, or visiting your local library, or the One Stockport Hub. We want everyone to benefit from the internet and see the positive changes that being online can make to their work, health and life. We're committed to providing support to ensure no one is left behind."

DigiKnow is a network of community groups, organisations and volunteer Digital Champions who help people get online and improve their digital skills. Support includes community classes, help over the telephone, and a Device Lending Library. Call the DigiKnow Helpline on 07537 127095 to find out more, or visit Stockport Local or your local library for a list of community groups who can help.