12th February 2013
Why I’m becoming a Digital Champion
By Charles Whitney, Press officer at TalkTalk
Using the internet to shop, socialise, learn and have fun has become such an integral part of daily life, it can be easy to take for granted.
But there are millions of Britons who do not use the internet, and they tend to be the people who could benefit from it the most. That’s why, when TalkTalk asked if I would like to become a Digital Champion for UK online centres, I jumped at the chance.
According to the Office for National Statistic’s Internet Access Quarterly Update, 7.63 million British adults have never used the internet, and almost 4 million of these people are classed as disabled, three times the national average. People on low incomes are far less likely to have gone online, and the elderly are the least likely to use the internet.
UK online centres up and down the country are working to help people get to grips with the internet, and recently trainer Greg Watson visited TalkTalk to meet colleagues who had agreed to become Digital Champions.
We met managers from three London UK online centres, who spoke about how they have helped turn clients’ lives around. One said her team had helped a young man to get back into education after he had left prison.
We discussed how to help clients overcome concerns they often have when they start learning to use computers and the internet, such as not seeing the point, worrying about looking silly when they don’t understand, or concerns about internet security.
Greg talked through the learning materials available and showed how they take clients through the basics of using a computer for the first time, to more advanced skills like learning how to protect yourself while online.
It is great that volunteers and staff at UK online centres are making a difference in peoples’ lives, and that TalkTalk is happy to let staff take time away from their day to day jobs to carry out voluntary work under the Give Something Back programme.