Residents benefitting from online training sessions at Market Drayton Library

Library volunteers are working hard to help get more people online as part of a countywide campaign.

Volunteer teacher Chris Tatam helps visitor Sheila Ottolini with her IT skills at Market Drayton Library
Volunteer teacher Chris Tatam helps visitor Sheila Ottolini with her IT skills at Market Drayton Library

Volunteers at Market Drayton Library have been running sessions to train people in internet basics, including buying safely online and setting up an email account.

Sessions are completely free to attend and aimed at residents who are around retirement age – over the age of 65 – but volunteers are flexible with this.

Tori Watson, of Market Drayton Library, said: "We are finding there's a real need for it and our volunteers are amazing.

"Our volunteers are patient so no matter what their (participants) skill level, they will leave having certainly improved those skills."

With a number of stores and shops going cashless nowadays, companies are forcing the issue of moving to online banking Tori said.

Therefore, there is a clear need for people to be properly equipped to use the internet – to access council services, book GP appointments or order medication.

Cecilia Motley, Shropshire Council’s cabinet member for communities, culture, leisure and tourism, and transport, said: “As we move further into accessing services digitally, it is important that no-one feels left behind and out of touch.

“Our volunteers are opening up new opportunities to people over 65 and the training is friendly and easy to understand.”

Andrea Miller, Shropshire Council digital skills programme lead, said: “Ordering medications quickly and easily, feeling safe online, getting food shopping delivered to your door, and enjoying video calls with friends and family are just some of the skills digital volunteers can help people to learn.

“People can learn on their own tablet, mobile phone or laptop, and we have free tablets and connectivity for participants in greatest need.”

Market Drayton Library is allocating people a weekly slot on a Monday or a Wednesday for their course and operates a rolling waiting list when sessions are full.

A lack of equipment or broadband at home should not prevent people coming forward, Tori added, as there is a fund for support if certain criteria are met.

The library is also recruiting volunteers to help run the sessions as demand grows.

To get in touch about becoming a volunteer contact or call 01630 652105.

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