Why be online
Being on the internet is becoming essential – for getting information, reporting problems, claiming benefits, buying and selling and getting the best deals. Here are some real life examples of people we have helped who have really enjoyed the benefits it has brought
‘My daughter could do her homework online at home and I could email her teacher’
Children grow up with the internet at school and being able to use it at home as well helps their learning and confidence – especially when they can show you what they have learnt
‘I saved £20 a week by shopping online’ – over £1000 in a year
Food shopping online, comparing deals, finding bargains and free and recycled stuff, getting home delivery and saving on travel fares – these quickly add up and easily cover the cost of being online plus give you extra to spend. Lloyds Bank research showed low income households could save an average of £516pa, that’s £10 a week
‘I saved time by ordering my prescriptions and making GP appointments online’
Contacting services by email or web chat rather than the phone can save you money, time and stress and means you have a record of your enquiry.
1 in 3 people using NHS choices to check their symptoms found they needed to see the GP less often.
‘I used Google translate to read letters from the council’
If English is not your first language there are free tools to help you translate into your preferred language (and don’t forget to use the links on the home page of this website to translate everything here if you need to)
‘I found a forklift driving course online and now I am retraining after being made redundant’
There are lots of ways to look for work, find training and volunteering, improve your CV and check the impact on your benefits of returning to work. Check out our work section to find some useful websites to help.
People with digital skills typically earn up to 10% more than those without and well over 90% of jobs require computer skills.
'My daughter keeps in touch with her grandparents using skype'
Skype is a free way of talking and seeing each other at the same time using the internet. Keeping in touch with friends and family, sharing photos and news, helps everyone feel better connected, especially if you live alone. As well as Skype there are tools like google hangout and WhatsApp that you might be able to use, cutting the cost of phone bills as well as meaning you can see the person you talk to.
8 out of 10 older people felt less lonely and more connected to modern society by using the internet.
Getting online may be cheaper than you think
Don’t forget – the money you save by being online will quickly cover the costs of getting set up – typically at around £100 for a tablet and three months mobile internet access – you could well save more than this within three months.