Now is the time to get online

With everyone now advised to stay at home, it can be particularly difficult for those that are not online. The internet can be a vital lifeline for people that are unable to get out, and with more services going online it is becoming increasingly important for everyone to have internet access and the skills to make good use of the internet.

Getting online has many benefits – here are just a few:

  • You can find out information quickly and easily. This is particularly important now since libraries are closed and telephone helplines are very busy – for example, you can often get valuable health information without contacting your GP practice.
  • You have more ways to keep in touch with friends and family – for example, if you have an internet connection you can make free video calls and easily send messages,
  • A lot of shops such as clothes and DIY retailers are continuing to trade, but are only online during the current crisis, so you need to be online to purchase from them. Even when the shops open again, online shopping can often be cheaper than high street stores so you can save money.

At Reading Voluntary Action we have put together a series of pages to help you get started. The pages have been designed to be easy to print and give to a friend or neighbour who doesn’t yet have internet access. We cover all the basics – how to get connected to the internet, email, web browsing, staying in touch, online shopping and banking, and staying secure.

Are you ready? Go to www.rva.org.uk/get-online to get started!

David Neale

David runs the Get Online Reading project, which uses a team of volunteers to promote digital inclusion around the town and help local people make better use of the internet. The Get Online team is based at Reading Central Library and does outreach sessions at other libraries and community venues around Reading. David also co-developed the RVA website.