Dorset’s volunteer digital champion service at 10 

‘Get Online’ roadshow to mark decade of scheme that’s helped thousands of local people get online and make the most of being there 

It’s never been easier to access public services, with a range of apps and sites available you can access from your phone or tablet. Such apps are popular with local authorities, too, because they’re efficient and inexpensive. But, as we’ve reported a lot recently, that means there’s a ‘digital divide’; a gulf between those who can take advantage of such services and those left behind without access. 

Three of Dorset's volunteer digital champions with a celebratory birthday cake, photo courtesy of Dorset Council

Three of Dorset’s volunteer digital champions with a celebratory birthday cake, photo courtesy of Dorset Council

Many authorities are tackling this issue head on with schemes to help people to get online and support them in using apps and technology. Dorset’s volunteer-run digital champion service is about to celebrate its 10th birthday. 

The occasion will be marked with a special ‘Get Online’ roadshow in the week beginning October 16, which is also national ‘Get Online’ week. During this roadshow, volunteer digital champions will run stalls in Bridport, Sherborne, Wimborne and Wool. They’ll answer questions and visitors can also try out different tablets and take part in some fun quizzes.  

Everyone visiting a volunteer digital champion will also be able to enter a free draw with a chance of winning a tablet. 

Cllr Jill Haynes, Portfolio Holder for Corporate Development and Transformation at Dorset Council, says: ‘Providing 10 years of digital help to thousands of our residents is a huge achievement and testament to the dedication and hard work of all our volunteers. 

‘When we set up the service in 2013 it was difficult to imagine just how quickly technology would evolve. The pandemic escalated things further and we are all now living in a predominately digital world. 

‘We must never lose sight of the fact that there will be people who find the fast pace of change difficult, and the services of our volunteers have never been needed more. I’d like to thank every single one of them for the valuable work they are doing in helping Dorset’s residents to get, and stay, online.’ 


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