Digital Cafes aim to help York go online

Tang Hall Library will host the first digital cafe

Tang Hall Library will host the first digital cafe

A series of ‘Digital Cafés’ will open across York to help all groups become more tech-savvy.

York-based Keeping Digital Foundation is building the network to fight digital exclusion that will help residents get online.

The charity will work with Digital to set up the cafes where people can stop by, enjoy a warm drink and get their questions answered about all things digital and ask for advice on how to get the most out of their digital devices.

Volunteers will be available to help people get online and support can be anything from setting up a smartphone to logging into the NHS app or York Council’s website. No bookings are required, and people can stay for a few minutes or a few hours.

The first Digital Cafe will be held on Saturday, September 24 from 10am to 12pm at the Tang Hall Explore Library.

Digital cafes will then take place on a regular basis, with volunteers available to answer questions and offer dedicated workshops. Participants will also receive tips on where to access digital support outside of the café sessions.

Additional locations will be announced throughout the year, and more Digital Cafes are planned to pop up at Explore libraries and community centers across the city.

The Keeping Digital Foundation says the cafes will help the charity increase its volunteering opportunities.

High school/college and university students can sign up for a flexible volunteer role that allows them to get involved in their community and learn new skills. Training and support is available, and people can register their interest in volunteering on the Keeping Digital Foundation website.

The Foundation’s Community Coordinator, Luke Castle, said: “This is an incredibly exciting initiative and also a really important addition to York’s support services, which are committed to providing support for the digital inclusion of residents.

“As many services are moving online, it is important that residents have the opportunity to acquire the skills they need to make the most of digitization and to connect, whether by sharing information from the community Tell local authorities or get in touch with their GP via the NHS app.

“Our volunteers are available for a warm drink and a chat, and we really encourage residents to stop by and speak to them to learn more about how we can help them get online.”

Barbara Swinn, Head of Strategy and Engagement at Explore Libraries and Archives and Lead Partner for 100% Digital York, added: “Digital cafes are a great addition to the work already being done in the city to help people build digital trust, and offer a relaxed, informal drop-in with a warm beverage and friendly mentoring at the heart of the community. This initiative will support the pursuit of a digitally inclusive city for all.”

More details can be found at www.keepingdigital.org.uk/support/cafes and in any Explore library.

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