Help for digital beginners

Helping older people to understand and use digital technology is what we do

We have been doing it very successfully for many years — and it has always been in a community context and in a community space, because that is what works best.

But while we are under threat from COVID-19, that is impossible. There are no indoor places to meet. We cannot offer classes or run workshops in the old way. Handle your phone, tablet or laptop is risky, and we cannot get close enough to see your screen with you.

1. Offline digital help — phone or text

We are doing our best to help beginners 1:1 by phone or text – but it’s not a solution to any of the difficulties we are facing, and does not work at all for absolute beginners. However, our offline help is effective for some people who are not beginners, but find themselves stuck with a problem they don’t quite understand. Our phone number for digital help and enquiries is 07423 162019.

2. Online digital help — by email

Our email address for digital help and enquiries is

3. Online digital help — in our HelpSpace meeting room

HelpSpace is an online meeting place where we can talk through your problem, either 1:1 or in small groups of up to six people.

NB (2 October 2020) – our Friday afternoon open HelpSpace has moved to Thursday afternoon.

Individual support in HelpSpace

This is normally arranged by phone or email.

Small group support in HelpSpace

This is effective because it can be more like a social event, and less like a clinic.

The HelpSpace address
  1. Tap or click on this link « »
  2. That link will take you straight to the room, where you will meet an authorised helper (and perhaps other people that you know).
  3. Type in your name, then on a button labelled Continue (if you see it, it’s not always needed).
  4. If the room is busy, you might have to tap on a button labelled Knock. Otherwise, tap on a button labelled Join the meeting.
Your privacy is important
  • You do not need an account for this. The Log in buttons are for the room owner, not for you.
  • Our online meeting rooms never require you to provide any identity information, enter a password or meeting code, create an account, or log in to anything.
Online meeting etiquette

If you are new to this, you will definitely be confused by the jargon of video, microphones, speakers, muting and sharing. Don’t worry about it. One of the objectives of the weekly HelpSpace is to allow you to understand these things gradually. We don’t expect you to get it right first time, and we don’t think it matters very much.

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