Get online free
In normal times there are lots of places where you can get friendly and free help to be online. During the COVID 19 pandemic you will need to check before you visit the places suggested. You could try searching our directory to find help near you and phone to see what is available.
Do you already have a laptop, tablet or smartphone?
Yes? Then you can access the internet free where free ‘Wi-Fi’ is advertised. Not all of these venues will be open during the COVID 19 pandemic. This usually includes:
- Libraries and Learning centres – ask your local Council if you are not sure where these are
- Community Centres, Children’s Centres (there may be a small charge or restricted opening times – ask at your local centre)
- Cafe’s, shops and pubs that advertise free wireless access to anyone using them – ask at the counter
- JobCentre (for anyone claming work related benefits).
Connecting Cambridgeshire has a useful map showing the locations for the libraries in Cambridgeshire, libraries in Norfolk are shown here
I don’t have a laptop, tablet or smartphone
All of the following will help you get online and have all the equipment that you need that you can borrow whilst you are there. Not all of these facilities will be open during the COVID 19 pandemic:
- Jobcentre Plus (for claimants)
- Community Centres and Learning Centres
Most of these will also have someone on hand to help you and often run courses for everyone – from absolute beginners to people who may want to learn more work related skills. Don’t be afraid to ask – its usual to find being online a challenge at first but once you get the basics it can open up a new world of possibilities.
Get started by borrowing a laptop or tablet
There are local projects and organisations that can lend you equipment and internet access so that you can experience the benefits without having to spend anything up front yourself
- If you live anywhere in Cambs, Peterborough or West Norfolk and are out of work and finding money hard to manage New Horizons may be able to lend you kit and internet access to get you started
- Alternatively, if you rent your home from a housing association get in touch with them to find out what help they give to their tenants
Ready to help yourself?
Learn My Way has lots of great short online training that take you through all the computer basics and move onto other areas of interest. You can log onto Learn My Way anywhere and if you are in a library you can ask one of the volunteers there to help you get started
Remember – getting online at home may be much cheaper than you think – the next section tells you more about what you need to buy