Digital Champions resume face-to-face advice session in Dorchester

  Posted: 02.05.21 at 07:00 by Lottie Welch

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Dorchester residents will once again be able to get face-to-face advice on any digital queries they may have.

Digital Champions have returned to Dorchester Library and Learning Centre to help people who are struggling to get online. Meanwhile, the Digital Hotline will keep running to help people wo can’t get to the face-to-face sessions, which are currently limited to Thursday afternoons.

Digital champions ran sessions in Dorset’s libraries and community venues until the start of last year, covering enquiries ranging from how to switch on a computer and use it for the first time through to specific technical queries.

However, when the Covid pandemic struck these sessions had to stop and since then Digital Champions have been helping people with their digital queries through the telephone hotline.

Mike Watson is one of the volunteer digital champions. He said: “In face-to-face support sessions the digital champion can see the exact issue and suggest a range of actions. If the first doesn’t work, we can immediately try something else.

“An informal relationship develops between the Digital Champion and the user, and as the user starts to make progress dealing with the technology, genuine learning happens.”

The sessions will be spaced apart to allow full cleaning and other Covid secure requirements will be in place. Perspex screens will separate the user and the digital champion or two computer screens will be available to maintain distance between them.

Advice is still available by calling the Digital Hotline - 01305 221048 - between 10am and 12noon, Monday to Friday.

Councillor Peter Wharf, deputy leader for Dorset Council, said: “It’s great to see that our volunteer digital champions are able to start supporting people again in this way as face-to-face sessions are the best way to help people who struggle with technology to develop their digital skills.

“Part of our digital vision for Dorset is to enable it to be a digital place. We want to help residents learn new digital skills which will make their lives easier.

“Businesses will have access to people with the digital skills they need and together we will be able to use technology to make a real difference to people’s lives.”

Face-to-face slots with digital champions must be pre-booked to ensure they are Covid secure. If you, or someone you know, would like some help from a digital champion with a digital query, just call the Digital Hotline.

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