Cash in on free computer help

A group of trained volunteers is ready to help anyone not yet using the internet to save hundreds of pounds a year.

People who are online make savings on things like insurance, gas, electric and other utilities, holidays and eating out.

Superfast Dorset has more than 50 Digital Champion volunteers spread across the county. They can show people how to use a computer, tablet or smartphone to save money, keep in touch with friends and family and more. The help is completely free.

Mary Witt attended a session at Dorchester Library recently. She said: “I shall be 80 next year and I don’t really want to be left behind, so I thought I must learn how to use a computer.

“It’s great to have someone who knows what they are doing and helps you as much as possible. I’m enjoying shopping – there are a lot more shops online than in your high street.”

Digital Champion Paul Hobbins said: “Both my car and motorcycle insurance renewals were due in May/June – a total of £1,095. I browsed the web using some comparison sites and some company sites.

“I was able to get slightly better car insurance for £50 less and an equivalent motorcycle insurance for £247 less. A cool £297 saving for an hour’s work.”

If you could use some free, friendly help taking the first steps online call 01305 221048 and we’ll answer any questions you have and get you started.

Daryl Turner, Dorset County Council cabinet member for the natural and built environment, said: “The latest research shows that around 150,000 Dorset adults need help with digital skills and 70,000 are offline.

“That’s something we want to address because people, many of them on lower and fixed incomes, are missing out on lower prices for life’s essentials. Many public services are also moving online, making it easier to do things like book a GP appointment and tax the car.

“We want to make Dorset a place where no-one is disadvantaged due to a lack of digital skills.”

Digital Champions run sessions across the county in location such as Weymouth, Bridport, Bournemouth, Christchurch, Gillingham, Dorchester and more. Full session details.