Leighton Buzzard charity launches Digital Champions scheme to teach online skills

The charity Citizens Online has launched its Digital Champions programme in Leighton Buzzard.

By News Reporter
Monday, 25th July 2022, 5:57 pm

Supported by Leighton-Linslade Town Council, the scheme is part of the council’s 55up initiative, which aims to tackle feelings of loneliness and isolation within the older community.

The Town Council has agreed to provide funding for the two year project enabling Citizens Online to offer free face to face and telephone support to those in need of digital assistance.

A Leighton-Linslade Town Council spokesman said: "According to the May 2022 Digital Inclusion report by Citizens Online, ‘2600 people in Leighton- Linslade are estimated to be not currently online’ and the ‘great majority of these are aged 65+’.

Could Citizens Online help you? Image: Citizens Online.

"As more and more aspects of our lives are moving online, it is of vital importance that everyone in our community has the opportunity to access services such as booking online appointments, completing electronic forms and connecting with family and friends."

Citizens Online provides free support to older people in order to develop their digital skills and gain confidence in accessing the online world; for example, it offers assistance with using a range of technology including mobile phones, tablets and laptops.

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It can also help individuals with online tasks such as grocery shopping, exploring hobbies and leisure activities and speaking to friends and loved ones.

The organisation can be contacted on their free helpline: 0808 196 5883.

The charity provides digital support either over the telephone or it can organise a support meeting in a public space. Meetings have already been taking place in Leighton Buzzard Library and have received very positive feedback.

Free Digital Drop in sessions are now taking place at The Chatty Café at the TACTIC Centre on Tuesdays from 10am to 1pm. Individuals can attend without booking and seek digital support, coupled with a free cup of tea.

The spokesman added: "The programme is run by an amazing set of volunteers who willingly give their free time to those in need.

"Citizens Online is very keen to expand its offering to the Leighton- Linslade community and is currently recruiting more volunteers to become Digital Champions.

"They offer free, accredited training, resources and online networking."

If you are interested in becoming involved or to find out more, please contact: [email protected] or call their free phone number 0808 1965883.

To find out more about the Town Council’s 55up programme, please visit: www.leightonlinslade-tc.gov.uk/55up/

Here you will find information on some of the grant funded groups and activities aimed at those aged 55 plus, and befriending services.

If you are 55years and older and are looking for some free support with using your technology, or if you know someone who might benefit from this please contact the free Citizens Online helpline on 0808 196 5883 or pop to one of the free Digital Drop In Sessions at the Chatty Café on Tuesdays at the TACTIC Centre, Hockliffe Street.

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Please get in touch via: [email protected]