West Lancashire Borough Council is supporting the national Be Online Campaign which encourages people to discover the possibilities that open up when you go online.
Being online can help you find work, entertain you and help you keep in touch with loved ones and the whole world.
The Be Online campaign, which takes place from 23 February to 8 March, will focus on these benefits as well as online services to support your health, and everyday things like finding information, managing your money and following hobbies.
In West Lancashire, latest figures from the Office of National Statistics show that between 10% and 14% of West Lancashire residents who don’t use the internet.
Councillor Jane Houlgrave, Borough Council Cabinet member responsible for digital inclusion, said: “We want to inspire as many people as possible to discover the possibilities that open up when you’re online. The Be Online campaign is designed to help people make the most of using the internet to live life to the full.
“If you or someone you know needs to access a computer or help to get online and using the internet, there’s lots of support to get started.”
‘Get online – Learn the Basics’ are bite-size courses at Lancashire County Council-run libraries with one-to-one help which are useful for people even if they haven’t used a computer before. These take place at Skelmersdale Library every Monday from 9.30am to 12.30pm, and Ormskirk Library every Thursday from 2.45pm to 3.45pm. The courses aim to help users become confident enough to progress from supported sessions to using a computer independently at home or in the library in six weeks or less. Courses are free but places are limited, so please book in advance by calling 0300 123 6709.
There are other places throughout the borough that provide free access to the internet and guidance to help you get started. You can also go into any post office and the staff there can tell you the nearest places for access, training and informal online support in your local community.
If you have access to a computer and want to be more confident online learnmyway.com (external link) has a great ‘how to’ section covering everything from what is a laptop to selling on eBay. It also offers information on everything from keeping in touch with friends and family to looking for a job, shopping and managing money online.
The County Council's Lancashire Adult Learning service provides a range of targeted provision to disadvantaged and hard to reach adults in the community as well as a publicly advertised programme of learning. Courses develop the ICT skills of jobseekers and others who have little or no experience of using computers. There are also opportunities to learn how to use iPads and Tablets, send emails and use the internet. The service also has an information, advice and guidance team which offers help to people to get into learning and work. Please call 0300 123 6711.