New digital hubs coming to the district to help you with tech

North Kesteven District Council is expanding its Digital Hubs programme with new locations in Sleaford and Waddington to help residents make the most of their internet access.

Scott Johnstone (Hub volunteer) and Betsy Spencer at the Ruskington Digital Hub. Photo: NKDC EMN-210111-122025001

The free Digital Hubs have been available for several years in Heckington, Osbournby and Ruskington and provide an opportunity for people to learn how to use their devices correctly while avoiding pitfalls like viruses.

Rachael Gordon, digital hub co-ordinator, said: “With smartphones, tablets and laptops now commonplace, it’s more important than ever to understand how to get the best out of them. So much of modern life uses the internet – from banking to shopping, and applying for jobs – and lots of people just need a bit of help.

“Lockdowns may have revealed people who’ve been getting by without using modern technology, but now realise they’re missing out. The council’s digital hubs provide a space to come and get pointers on using technology and accessing onlineservices effectively and safely.

“We’d be delighted to welcome new visitors along to our new hubs in Sleaford at the Town Hall and Waddington’s Community Hub.”

Users can bring their own device along to a session and get help with a range of different activities such as accessing council services, learning how to connect with friends via social media, sending emails or using video calling such as Zoom.

Carmen Nelson who attends the Heckington Digital Hub said: “The volunteers and staff at the digital hub have helped me to be able to use my phone and laptop with confidence and to connect with my family abroad.”

The digital hubs are run with the support of local volunteers.

“We couldn’t run these services without our invaluable volunteer team – they enable us to provide one-to-one support. We’re always on the lookout for more volunteers – so if you have a couple of hours a week to spare and some tech skills, please get in touch,” said Rachael.

Current volunteer at the Heckington Digital Hub, Mark Guthrie, said: “Personally I benefit from the social side of the role, getting out and meeting different people. I also thoroughly enjoy helping people develop their skills in a subject that I enjoy, especially when I see those people being able to utilise their new skills to their own benefit.”

The hubs are all at convenient community locations and take place weekly, free of charge:

Sleaford Town Hall, Quayside House, Navigation Yard, Sleaford are every Tuesday 10.30am - 12noon.

Osbournby Village Hall, 10 High Street, Osbournbyis every Wednesday 11am - 12.30pm.

Heckington Methodist Church Hall, Church Street, Heckington is every Wednesday 1.30pm - 3pm.

Ruskington Methodist Church, Chapel St, Ruskington is every Thursday 10.30am - 12noon.

Waddington Community Hub, High St, Waddington is every Thursday 1.30pm - 3pm.

Due to covid safety arrangements, anyone wishing to attend the sessions is asked to book in advance by calling 01529 414155 or booking online via www.n-kesteven.gov.uk/hubs. The council appreciates that people may need to enlist the help of a friend or family member to make their first online booking, but can be shown how to do so themselves when attending their session.