In 2013, a partnership agreement between Dorset County Council and the Boroughs of Poole and Bournemouth, created a single joint adult skills and learning service, capable of equipping students with many of the basic digital skills necessary for survival in today’s world. I was priveleged to be a part of this. The service aimed to deliver professional, high quality learning and training across Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole. Since the re-organisation of local government in this area the scheme is now administered by BCP Council. It is now one of the biggest providers of education and basic digital skills in the Wessex region.
The Aim: Digital Inclusion For All – Especially Dorset’s Older People
What does that mean… digital inclusion? It means not being left out when it comes to being part of the changing world of new technology, especially getting online. Think for a moment about the possibility of being able to see, hear and communicate with your relatives and loved ones who are living abroad as clearly as if they were in the next room. With digital video calling, you can, and what’s more, you could have this without any costly phone calls. You could catch up with your friends, or make new friends on social media, such as Facebook.
Now consider that from the comfort of your Dorset home you could take a ‘virtual’ tour of places you may never visit, or find out more about your favourite hobby, whilst enjoying your favourite brew. And, how about catching up with the TV you’ve missed, without the need to record it? On the web you can digitally download and stream TV shows, films and sports any time you want. You could also browse and get the widest choice of shopping, and the best deals, without getting out your chair. You could even securely check your bank statements, find out about health matters, and even order repeat prescriptions or book an appointment with the Doctor.
Are you one of the seven million people in the UK who have still never been on online? We know it can be daunting; for example in the Wessex region alone, there are approximately 80,000 Dorset residents who have never experienced the digital online world.
Why not come and learn how to improve your computer skills with the assistance of a Wessex Digital Champion? Volunteers with a wide experience of computers are ready and willing to help you learn how to get online, and find out about some of these amazing things yourself. We have sessions in places where you can use the computers and get help for free. Why not give it a try?
We offer a warm, friendly and reliable service to all learners, regardless of age, background or ability.