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Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Helping someone get started online

Do you know someone who would benefit from help getting started online? UK online centres are a great place for complete beginners to give the internet a go for free, with expert help on hand. If you know someone who could do with help, get them to call 0800 77 1234.

Five good reasons to get online

The chances are that you know someone who’s not online. Over a third of the UK population doesn’t use the internet, which means millions are missing out on its benefits.

Getting online can also save time, money and hassle. For example:

  • email can be a great way of staying in touch with family and friends, even if they’re on the other side of the world
  • price comparison websites can help identify savings on household bills
  • banking online can save queuing up on the high street
  • the internet can be a huge help when you're finding and applying for jobs
  • there’s a vast range of information to help students with their research, and kids with their homework

Give the internet a go at a UK online centre

Pass IT on: help someone get started online

Find out how to get someone you love online at the Pass IT on website

UK online centres are a great place for beginners to get started using a computer and the internet. There are over 6,000 centres across England - all staffed by people ready to offer help and advice. Many started out as visitors to UK online centres - so they understand beginners’ concerns.

If you know someone who could do with help getting started online, tell them to get in touch with their nearest UK online centre.

They can find out where it is by calling free on 0800 77 1234 - or you can look it up by following the link below.

Extra help with using computers

If your friend or family member has a disability or learning difficulty, some UK online centres have extra facilities to help them use computers - such as wheelchair access or technology that can read text on a computer screen out loud.

Call 0800 77 1234 to find out if your nearest UK online centre has these facilities. If not, there may be another centre nearby that can help.

Get confident with Online basics and myguide

Online basics and myguide are free learning tools, specially created to help novices get started on the internet. They can be used at a UK online centre, or at home.

Online basics

Start with Online basics for beginner’s guides to:

  • using a computer keyboard and mouse
  • using email
  • searching the internet
  • staying safe online


Once your friend or family member has mastered Online basics, myguide has over 20 more free courses. They’re all designed to help beginners find out about all the useful things they can do online.

Take your computer skills to the next level

There are plenty of opportunities to develop you computer skills further - whether it’s learning for free online, or training which leads to a qualification.
Your nearest UK online centre could be an ideal place to improve your knowledge. There’s always plenty of expert advice on hand, whether you’re looking to learn how to use a digital camera or get help starting a short, informal course.

You can also search online for other courses and local colleges, or arrange for a learning adviser to call you back with information.

Making family life easier online

Getting online can bring particular benefits for parents. Knowing your way around the internet can help you supervise what your child is doing while they're using the computer, or suggest sources of information for their homework.

There’s also plenty of useful information on the internet. On Directgov, for example, you can find out about childcare and schools in your area, apply for a school place and check term dates.

Free internet access at home for families on low incomes

If you are on a low income, receive certain benefits and have a child in Years 3 to 9, you could qualify for a grant to buy a computer and/or one year’s internet access.

To find out more, visit the Home Access programme website or call:

  • 0333 200 1004

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Additional links

Race Online 2012

Improve the life chances of the 10m people who have never been online

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