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Online project is searching for digital champs
A new project to get people in Calne online needs participants and volunteers.
The free project, designed by Wiltshire Online, is aimed at elderly people, people with disabilities and families on a low income.
It will be co-ordinated by Malcolm Gull, chairman of the Calne community area partnership, who will match volunteers with people who need help.
The volunteers, named digital champions, will offer help from mouse and keyboard skills to setting up a computer desktop, searching the internet, using email, Skype or shopping online.
They will be trained by the Wiltshire Online team to offer individual or group support in a library, an internet café or someone’s own home.
Digital literacy co-ordinator Jenny Wilcockson said: “We reckon there are about 68,000 people in Wiltshire who have never been online. When you think about all the things you and I do every day on the computer, everyone who’s never been online is missing out so much.
“In Wiltshire the community you can get online is key because it’s a rural community. If people can get online and email or Skype family and friends, those feelings of isolation that could exist are reduced.”
Calne’s first volunteer is Robin Fox, a retired physicist who used to work in the nuclear industry.
Mr Fox, aged 65, said: “I retired recently and I decided to look for some sort of retirement job helping the community.
“Because I’m more of a technical person I decided this would be ideal.
“I’m looking forward to meeting some people, most of my customers I guess will be older people who cannot get out but anybody can turn up and say I would like some help.”
To get involved with the project – either as a volunteer or a participant – contact Malcolm Gull on 07500 785263 or call in to the Calne Community Hub.