It’s wise to volunteer

ARE you a computer expert? Do you have a little spare time?

If so, you can help others to take advantage of what benefits the internet, email, digital photography and cheap communications can bring.

More than 4,000 people have learned computer skills thanks to Thurrock Council’s libraries service.

The Wiser4IT scheme has been running since 2002, targeting the 50-and-over age group, helping them become IT literate and able to take advantage of the benefits modern technology brings.

All nine local libraries have been involved in delivering the courses, but currently the scheme is only being provided in seven – partially due to a lack of volunteers

The free sessions are two hours a weeks and aim to help local people learn basic computer skills – including mouse skills, internet sessions, sending and replying to emails, Word processing and adding pictures to documents.

From time to time they also cover the usage of digital photography, social networking, Facebook, Twitter, and CV writing/interview skills using PowerPoint presentations and internet safety.

Cllr Oliver Gerrish, portfolio holder for education – including libraries – said: “We owe a debt to our regular volunteers, but are always on the lookout for more.

“Volunteering can bring people a great sense of satisfaction, sharing skills with other people.

“It takes a special person to devote time and energy to the community in this way.

“But the benefits of learning basic computer skills are unlimited as they open a whole world of opportunities, making those that have them more competitive, with increased knowledge and access to knowledge – and improved self-worth.

Thurrock Libraries always have a need for more volunteers to support its computer training sessions and if you think you would be able to spare at least two hours a week to help, please check for details about how to be involved online at volunteering@thurrock.gov.uk

If you would like to find out more, or if you are interested in enrolling on the course, contact your local library.

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