Computers and internet help for over 50s (extract from the Golden Guide Northumberland, 2019)
It can be daunting getting to grips with IT, but even basic knowhow will get you started. You don’t need to learn everything at once and can pick it up at your own pace. The most useful skills are online searching, email, using a mobile phone or tablet and Skype. These allow you to keep in touch with family and friends, shop online, bank online, find health information and carry out official transactions. Here are contacts in Northumberland to help you along.
Library Digital Champions
If you have no computer libraries have free internet access and staff will help if you are stuck. Some branches have a Digital Champion, so for help with email, online searching, using a mobile phone or Ipad etc. you can book a free appointment and they will help build your skills.
Find them in: Amble, Berwick, Cramlington, Haltwhistle, Heddon, Prudhoe, Rothbury and Seahouses.
Ageing Well Golden Age Forum, Northumberland CVA, 107-109 Station Road, Ashington, NE63 8RS
One to one or small group IT sessions to build confidence and increase skills. Includes computers and internet help, mobile phones and Ipads.
For older people across south east Northumberland. Ring to enquire about Doing Digital sessions in other venues.
Age UK Northumberland, The Roundhouse, Lintonville Parkway, Ashington, NE63 9JZ 01670 784800
Computer drop-in sessions Mon 10.00am—12.00pm.
Bacmans Community Hub Ltd, Lynemouth Miners Institute
Bridge Road, Lynemouth, NE61 5YL
01670 860060 or 07710 628099 Christina Manners
IT help for local residents with email, online form-filling, registering with official bodies etc. Also help on how to use your own device, take it along with you. (Apple products not supported.)
Bell View Resource Centre, 33 West Street, Belford, NE70 7QB
Informal Savvy Surfers group Wed. 10.00am—12.00pm for computers and internet help, and general IT advice and problem-solving. Equipment and wifi available or bring your own device. Ring before a first visit.
Blyth Resource & Initiative Centre (BRIC), Blyth Community Enterprise Centre, Ridley Street, Blyth, NE24 3AG
Free IT courses for beginners and for over 50s, here and in venues throughout Seaton Valley. Also employability service, and older people’s activity groups.
Café @ Burn Lane, Hexham NE46 3HN
Two computers available for use in the bright and friendly community and internet café. No time limit and help with simple problems if you’re stuck.
iNorthumberland, Northumberland County Council
0345 600 6400 or 01670 626001
Superfast Broadband is available across Northumberland. Check online or ring to find out if your property is included, and to check for details of the latest offers.
Northumberland County Blind Association, (NCBA) Reiver House, Staithes Lane, Morpeth, NE61 1TD
Computer training classes with specialised software for people with visual impairment. Also basic skills with laptops, smartphones, Ereaders etc. Ring to book a place.
Northumberland Community Development Company, (NCDC)
07885 303166 John McGough
Free, friendly, personalised computer support sessions for beginners or the more experienced. They’re especially keen to help those in rural areas get online. For individuals or small groups.
Northumberland Learning & Skills Service – Adult Learning
0345 600 6400
Start from scratch or improve your digital skills with courses at different levels at various venues in Northumberland.
Northumberland Learning & Skills Service, Rural Digital Project
01670 623294, Dan Heppell
Free ‘Get Digital’ classes in rural community venues. Learn about emails, online shopping and form-filling as well as Facebook and Skype. They will help you use your own mobile phone or tablet too. Follow-on progression classes in some places. Ring for details.
Newbiggin Learning Hive, 44 East Lea, Newbiggin-by-the-sea, NE64 6BQ
01670 855880, Cate Blatherwick
Drop in any time Mon—Thurs 8.30am—3.00pm for IT help on their computers and laptops. Join ICT for the Terrified group sessions, or go at your own pace with one to one help. All welcome.
More Learning Hives offering IT support in Ashington, Bedlington, and Newsham. Contact Northern Learning Trust on 0191 271 0131 for details or see their Facebook pages.
For help with computers and the internet in Tyneside see pages 37-38 in the Golden Guide Newcastle and North Tyneside 2018.