Dorset Council’s digital support scheme saw busiest year in 2023
A volunteer digital champion (right) heling a resident (left) in Ferndown Library (Image: Dorset Council) Dorset Council’s digital volunteer scheme had its busiest year in 2023 – with more than 2,000 face-to-face appointments. The volunteer digital champions service offers support with online shopping, Zoom meetings, comparison sites, apps, GP booking appointment systems and getting to grips with new devices like smart phones, tablets and laptops.
The service celebrated its tenth-year last year, saw more than 1,800 people and held 2,063 appointments. In previous years, the volunteers held on average between 1,000 and 1,500 sessions. Cllr Jill Haynes, the council’s portfolio holder for Corporate Development and Transformation, said: “The record number of visits to our volunteer digital champions shows just how much the help they offer is needed.
“We know the real benefits digital can bring to people’s lives and we would urge anyone who does not feel confident using technology to come and see our wonderful volunteer digital champions who are ready and waiting to help.” Face-to-face sessions can be found from Ferndown in the east to Lyme Regis in the west, and from Portland in the south to Gillingham in the north – and many places in between. Community groups can also book a volunteer digital champion to speak to their members.
They also provide help over the phone via the Digital Hotline – 01305 221048 !- which was set up during the Covid pandemic.
Dorset Echo: Volunteer digital champion, Mike Watson (right) helping a resident (left) in Dorchester Library. Volunteer digital champion, Mike Watson, said: “I am delighted that so many people know about the service we offer and are coming to see us. “Whatever advice is needed, we are ready and waiting to help – no problem is too big or too small.”
People can find their nearest volunteer digital champion session by visiting the digital volunteer champions website: www.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/volunteer-digital-champions
Community groups interested in booking a volunteer digital champion can email [email protected] for more information.