Sanctuary Housing residents of all ages in Torbay are being encouraged to snap up free home-based digital training sessions as part of a national initiative to boost their online skills.
The Sanctuary Online programme aims to teach residents how to make the most of the online world, from those seeking work to those in retirement on how to use the internet.
Experts from We Are Digital give a one-to-one class at residents’ homes, explaining everything from how to search and apply for jobs online, pay bills, prepare a CV and managing Universal Credit.
Each class is tailored to residents’ needs and they can also learn how to efficiently use computer software such as Microsoft Word and Excel, and keep in touch with family and friends through email and Skype.
Lynne Roberts, Sanctuary Housing’s neighbourhood partnerships manager for Torbay, said: “This ambitious project aims to improve residents’ lives by giving them the knowledge to get online and use digital skills, which can have huge benefits from making them more employable to reducing loneliness.
“These home-based sessions work around our residents’ lives and are free, so I urge anyone interested in becoming more digitally savvy to sign up for this course.”
Figures released in 2016 show that 12.6 million people in the UK are still not online. Of those with limited basic digital skills, 57 per cent are aged over 65, 31 per cent earn less than £9,500 a year, 28 per cent are unemployed and 26 per cent live in rural areas.
Sanctuary Online aims to train around 700 residents across the country and improve their digital skills so they can take advantage of the online world. As part of the programme, there is also a City and Guilds qualification available for residents who want to use the training to improve their employability skills.