Business in the Community, in partnership with Go ON NI and NI Direct are offering free digital help for anyone who needs it.
If you have a tablet, laptop or phone and need help with a problem, digital volunteers will help you.
Text the word DIGITAL or DIGITALHELP (one word) to 67300* with a short description of what you need help with.
Or, telephone: 075 5185 2684 and leave your name, number and short message about your digital issue on the voicemail.
If your enquiry is specifically about COVID 19, including general enquiries, testing, tracing contacts, self-isolation, you should telephone 0300 200 7896 Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays) between the hours of 8.30 am to 5.30 pm.
A volunteer will then phone you within 48 hours with free advice on topics such as:
- staying safe online
- online payments
- shopping online
- saving and sharing photos
- computer settings
*All text messages will be charged at your network operator’s standard rate. Information is held securely and is non-identifiable and not shared with a third party. Information will be used by digital partners for this service only. There is no charge for receiving texts from this service while in the UK.
Activities for older people and children
Age NI, with the support of the Commissioner for Older People for Northern Ireland, is offering a ‘Check in and chat’ telephone service for everyone who is over 60 in Northern Ireland, who may feel isolated or lonely during this time.
- Check in and chat
- Free telephone advice service: 0808 808 7575
Support for parents and pupils
The Department of Education has a list of resources that you may find useful as you help your child with learning during the period of school closures. Other organisations also offer help, advice and support.
The Consumer Council has some themed games and quizzes in age categories and online quizzes
Joe Wicks (AKA The Body Coach) will be doing online PE lessons every weekday morning at 9:00am. Or workouts for yourself.
Health information and support networks
The Public Health Agency publishes daily updates on Coronvirus infection numbers and gives helpful, practical advice on how to prevent it spreading.
Helplines NI has more than 30 different helplines that have a variety of support services. These include information, advice, counselling, a listening ear and befriending.
Find out about the new StopCOVID NI Proximity App which is available to download from the Apple and Google app stores.
The Supporting Communities website is for local community groups to find out about what is available in each area and where to go for local information. Their latest Ezine includes feedback from a member survey highlighting responses of local community groups as well as some challenges they face in responding to Covid 19.
Consumer Council NI has information if you have been affected by disrupted travel plans, personal finance problems or purchasing goods. It also has a list of helplines and more.
CommunityNI is a website for promoting the work and sharing the information of the voluntary and community sector, as well as for those who have products or services to offer the sector.
The site allows users to create content and contribute articles on behalf of their organisation or as individuals. CommunityNI is developed and managed by NICVA as a service to the voluntary and community sector.
Calm Together has advice on meditations, sleep stories, movement exercises, journals, mindfulness resources and music.
COVID-19 update - For the latest information visit the Libraries NI website
There are more than 90 libraries in Northern Ireland and they’re free to join. Library members can benefit from the following free IT training programmes and facilities:
- wi-fi in all libraries
- computer use and internet access
- GOT IT programme
- Computer courses
- e-books and online magazines
- talking books on CD, big key keyboards and large tracker balls for people with visual impairments
- Libraries NI contact page
- Libraries NI digital help sheets
Supporting Communities provides free digital training to community groups across Northern Ireland. Additional chargeable training is available to Housing Associations, Councils and other voluntary groups. They offer:
- one to one practical training
- short skill-based training and awareness sessions
- accredited courses
- tailor made packages
- a Digital Champion programme
- Digital inclusion – Supporting Communities website
- telephone: 028 2564 5676
- email: email@example.com
Business in the Community (BITC)
BITC links businesses with the voluntary sector and local communities to provide support and encourage local engagement. They can provide volunteers for IT events or IT related training sessions and can either assist the trainer or provide one-to-one support.
Linking Generations NI (LGNI)
LGNI offers a range of free services, advice and guidance including projects, training and event support. LGNI leads the The Digital Age Project which:
- supports the use of technology as a way of linking generations
- promotes digital and social inclusion of older people through various IT programmes.
These programmes show how technology can:
- enhance lives through improved communication
- provide access to information and services - hobbies and interests to reduce social isolation and promote a better quality of life
- new resources including, connecting through reading, activities and pots of kindness
- Linking Generations Northern Ireland - Resources and help during Covid-19
The Digital Age Toolkit also has learner cards to “enhance your life online” - learn yourself to teach someone else how to access information, shop online, keep in touch via email and social media, make better use of finances and pursue hobbies and interest.
Advice NI offers IT training and information sessions to organisations . As well as general information, Advice NI can give specific advice about its web portal POP NI.
The POP NI web portal is aimed at older people and provides information and news on upcoming events, seminars and topics of interest.
RNIB (Royal National Institute for Blind People)
The Technology for Life service in RNIB is offering remote technology support by phone, email or its online technology support request form.
RNIB's helpline is available from Monday to Friday 9.00 am to 5.00 pm for anyone with sight loss or if you are supporting someone with sight loss for advice, information and tech support/troubleshooting:
A team of volunteers are available who can phone customers at a suitable time to provide additional tech support where needed.
To support other partners/customers with the current situation, RNIB TFL have now put together a new factsheet on Video Calling
Public Record Office of Northern Ireland
Research your family tree and local history online:
Devices and equipment are essential to connect with the digital world. Many households don’t have access to the internet and the digitally excluded face a socially distanced world gripped by COVID-19. DevicesDotNow is a campaign, led by FutureDotNow, urging businesses across the UK to help community organisations support the most vulnerable people in society.
Businesses are being approached to support those in need by donating tablets, smartphones and laptops, as well as connectivity in the form of sims, dongles and mobile hotspots which are in urgent need to get the most vulnerable online. DevicesDotNow are coordinating donated equipment for groups or individuals who need it.
Digital Unite online guides cover topics such as computer basics, creating documents, email and Skype, using the internet, hobbies and interests, music and audio, smartphones and tablets, social networking, digital photography, internet security, shopping and banking .
Learn My Way
The Tinder Foundation’s Learn My Way website is built to make getting online easy. Courses are designed to help people follow a logical path in developing their digital skills.