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Helpline for digital skills to reduce isolation

By Liz Bennett, Clerk Ansty and Staplefield Parish Council

Monday, 1 February 2021

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Ansty and Staplefield Parish Council Contributor

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The Parish Council has received the following information from Citizen Online. Please pass it to anyone you know who may benefit from it:

"

I am working on a digital inclusion project across Sussex and wanted to let you know about a new free Helpline we have launched to help people who need assistance with digital skills. We all recognise how isolating the pandemic has been for many within our society. Accessing our basic needs from ordering groceries, making doctors’ appointments and claiming benefits has all moved online. Being online can also mean chatting with your loved ones and being lifted by the smile of familiar faces. Once online you can also explore your hobbies and open up a whole new world in a safe environment.

During the first lockdown, John was isolating in his warden-managed accommodation. Whilst he was happy there for many months, he hadn’t been able to see his family including grandchildren and great grandchildren, some of whom he had never seen before. With the help of his family and organisations such as Citizens Online, John can now talk to his family through a simple device, and is enjoying a new lease of life as he stays connected despite what is happening around us all. His brother said, “Seeing John’s face light up when communicating with his family was very emotional”.

If you know of anyone in your community who needs help with basic digital skills, gaining confidence online or support getting online they can all our FREE helpline on 0808 196 5883. One of our team of trained digital champions will offer friendly, patient support over the phone. It would be great if you could circulate this number within your community so it reaches as many people as possible. If you have a covid support group, social media accounts, noticeboard, newsletter, local Facebook group then please share there too. I have attached a poster you can use wherever you want to promote the helpline.

Citizens Online is a UK charity helping ensure the switch to online doesn’t exclude people. Visit www.citizensonline.org.uk for more information or give me a call on 07917 446082 or email sarah.collyer@citizensonline.org.uk with any questions."

Contact Information

Liz Bennett, Clerk

  • 07437 703411

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Ansty, Haywards Heath, West Sussex

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