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Digital volunteer Shawana helps Eastleigh get online

Housing association VIVID has appointed its first volunteer digital mentor to help Eastleigh residents get online with free one to one support.

Local resident Shawana Chaudry will be helping internet newcomers at Eastleigh Library as part of successful sessions run in partnership with Hampshire County Council.

One to one support in Eastleigh starts this month as part of national Digital Inclusion week. To book a place visit Eastleigh Library at the Swan Centre or call the library on 02380 612646.

According to the Office of National statistics 22% of the population still have extremely limited or basic online skills. VIVID’s support gets people comfortable using the internet to do things like complete online forms, use search engines, email and shop online as well as how to make sure of secure surfing.

Mum of 3 youngsters Shawana, who has also been caring for elderly relatives and supporting her partner with his IT Consulting business, sees supporting others using her skills as a great route back into full time employment.

She said: “With the internet now such a huge part of everyday life I want to help people take advantage of what it has to offer while also staying safe online. Having the opportunity to work with computers and people will give me a good base for getting into full time employment.”

VIVID Partnership Manager Cleon Hutton said: “With most public services now requiring some internet knowledge too many people are still being left behind. We’re so grateful to our fantastic digital mentor volunteers for helping us and their local community beat digital exclusion.”

VIVID is already running successful courses in Basingstoke, Aldershot, Farnborough and Andover and some venues have had to add spaces to meet demand.

Our support gets people comfortable using the internet to do things like complete online forms, use search engines, email and shop online as well as how to make sure of secure surfing.

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