GO-ON-Worcestershire -Logo

I’ve met a couple of people recently who were really positive about how Rooftop had helped them get online.  My favourite was the last Evesham ferryman – yes I was surprised when he came in - he told me that he had been sent by the Job Centre to the local library to join a course to learn more about computers.  Chatting with him I found that the library course was't running at that time and so the library staff, knowing we offer support at Rooftop, had sent him along to our offices to find out more. We arranged for him to have some one to one sessions to help him get online and he left the office really delighted that he was soon going to get some personal support.   We also offered him help through our work advisor with some training on how to search for jobs online.

So what’s behind helping people to get online and why in Get Online Week 2015 does it still matter?

Research carried out by Go ON Worcestershire has highlighted that 49,000 people within the County were not using the internet.  

A lot of people assume this is older people and it doesn’t matter. 

It does matter.

It makes a big difference... as the 95 year old lady who attends the Broadway Neighbours Online group would tell you.  She loves attending the group and enjoys learning and socialising.  Shopping online is also great she tells me, especially in the winter.  Rooftop residents who use the touchscreen access points in our older people’s schemes tend to use them to check out the local bus times and what the weather is doing.  Essential information quickly available.

Young people too can need support to get online – often linked to developing the skills to job search or prepare a high quality CV.  At Rooftop we love residents to log on and report repairs online, or check their rent account balances.  With welfare reforms it’s increasing important that residents have access to complete benefit applications such as Universal Credit online. 

Rooftop’s approach has been simple – we aim to provide personal training and support, public access points – with free WI-FI, and affordable kit – such as provided by recycled computer schemes.  We’re really happy to be promoting BT Basic which is available to residents for £9.99 a month and gives residents on income based benefits an affordable phone and internet package.

Getting online is fun and very easy, especially if you have support from a Rooftop volunteer. 

If you'd like to be a Rooftop Digital Champion or need support and advice on how to get online contact the Community Investment team on 0800 0421 800

Check out Learn My Way – it’s a great training website free to use for anyone starting out online http://www.learnmyway.com/

Kate Gallant

Community Investment Manager

More information about Get Online Week.