STUDENTS from Sheffield College are making sure everyone’s in tune with technology - by joining a countywide team of digital doctors.
It’s estimated 30 per cent of people in South Yorkshire have never accessed the internet - because they are scared of it, don’t have access to technology, or don’t see how it can be relevant to their lives.
Now a group of college students have joined a team of more than 400 volunteers recruited as ‘digital outreach trainers’, helping people who have never or rarely been online.
The youngsters don’t need to be experts - they’ve been providing information and practical support to neighbours, friends and relatives, showing how technology can help with everyday tasks.
Jamie Jackson, aged 20, has been showing his parents, grandparents and neighbours how to make the best of the internet, helping his dad who has a guitar shop.
“I’ve been showing him how to sell his products online, and he’s also now ordering his stock online. It’s made a real difference to his work,” Jamie said.
Amy Gilmartin, 16, has been helping her mum become more confident with computers - and she can now download her favourite music from the internet.
“My mum had seen me do it and she wanted to know how she could download songs to her mobile phone,” Amy said.
The project is called Making IT Personal - Joining the DOTS, and is supported by councils and colleges in Sheffield, Rotherham, Barnsley and Doncaster.
Other students have been showing older people how to use social media sites, price comparison websites, online shopping, download music and work a digital camera.
Sheffield College’s online college manager Julie Hooper said: “The project aims to promote digital inclusion among people who have either shied away from or not had access to technology.”