Make the most of your Christmas presents with free basic IT sessions

Got a new tablet or laptop for Christmas and now sure how to get surfing? Then get in touch with Get IT Together.

The programme is run by Citizens Online and aims to help internet beginners get to grips with the basics and to make the most of their devices.

Get IT Together runs friendly, informal sessions for beginners to help with basic keyboard and mouse skills; setting up and using email; searching the internet and using it to find a job.

Council leader Tudor Evans said: “If you were lucky enough to get a computer or tablet from Santa, and are looking get a bit of know-how, this is just the thing. We know that some people find computers intimidating, but we make sure they can get to grips with the basics at their own pace and see where it takes them.

“It could open doors to work, save money on bills and access health and welfare services.”

The Get IT Together project is a £330,000 city initiative which is part of BT’s nationwide Connected Society programme and run by the digital inclusion charity Citizens Online. It helps people to gain online skills and confidence so they can benefit fully from the internet.

Over 1,800 learners attended an IT course last year at a wide number of venues ranging from the Plymouth Advice Centre for Employment, North Prospect Community Learning, libraries, Salvation Army, PCH, Plymouth Citizens’ Advice Bureau.

The three-year project is led by the Council and has been funded by city partners including BT, Plymouth Community Homes, the Plymouth Health Community and Jobcentre Plus.

Group sessions involve people learning at their own pace and get familiar with the internet and the opportunities it opens up. Around 38,000 city homes are not yet connected to the internet and as time goes on, people risk missing opportunities for education, work, access to council and health services.

Project co-ordinator Lena Santoro said: “We helped a local resident Mark with his IT skills. He had been unemployed for over five years and needed support to search for vacancies online and apply for jobs. He attended free IT classes and discovered that the course boosted his self-confidence and drive to find work. The course helped so much, he secured employment with Bombardier as an electrical assembler.”

For support and help getting online call Get IT Together Plymouth on 01752 398995 to find out more about the sessions we offer in your area.