RESIDENTS are being urged to switch on to a free service helping people with computer and internet issues which is expanding.

Dorset Council's volunteer digital champions provided their services over the phone during the pandemic.

With restrictions lifted, they are no going out into the community to help people and will be at libraries offering their technical advice.

The Digital Hotline phone service - 01305 221048 - continues to be available and is open five mornings a week.

Dorset Council’s deputy leader, Cllr Peter Wharf, said: “Our volunteer digital champions did an amazing job helping people throughout the pandemic via the Digital Hotline.

“The hotline is a fantastic service but you cannot beat face to face help and showing people in person how to get around their technical problems.

“I’d like to thank our fantastic team of volunteers who are giving up their valuable time to help all of us make the most of this digital world we now live in.”

The digital advice service at libraries and community centres is already proving a hit with residents.

Dawn Devenish can now take more advantage of all her iPad has to offer, thanks to the help she received from champion, Ian Hudson.

She said: “I’ve had my iPad for three years and I could do the basic things such as searching the internet, send emails and take photos – but I wanted to know what else I could do, in particular connecting it up with other devices like my phone.

“Ian was not only knowledgeable he was also patient and good at judging how best to communicate with my digitally illiterate mind."

Digital champions will be at the following locations:

Dorchester Library (every Thursday, 2-5pm)

Yarn Barton Centre in Beaminster (every Thursday 9.30am to 12 noon)

Sturminster Newton Learning Centre (every Monday and Wednesday 9.30 to 1pm)

Portland Library (starting from 7 October on the first and third Thursday 2 to 4pm)

Weymouth Library (every Tuesday 2pm to 4.45pm)

Littlemoor Library (every Wednesday morning)

Bridport Library (starting from 4 October on every Monday 2pm to 4pm)

Wareham Library (starting from 1 October on every Friday 9.30am to 12.15pm)

Swanage Library (starting from 1 October on every Friday 1.30pm to 4.15pm)

All sessions must be booked by contacting the library/community centre or by calling the Digital Hotline on 01305 221048 ¬(Monday to Fridays, 10am to 12 noon).