Get online

Digital technology has become an essential part of everyday life, allowing us to stay connected with loved ones, browse the internet, shop online, and use online banking. However, the more vulnerable and less digitally aware are being left behind. 

We want to share our digital knowledge to help residents learn, grow and discover digitally. 

Whether you're a complete novice and want to start with the basics, can do a little but want to know more, or just need advice on how to help others, we're here to support you.

This includes help with:

  • Accessing the internet and email
  • Keeping in touch with your friends and family
  • Managing your money
  • Searching for jobs and completing online applications
  • Learning more about the things that interest you
  • Registering for MyAccount
  • Supporting your less digitally confident friends, family or neighbours.

How can we support you?

TechMate Tea Parties

Visit one of our TechMate Tea Parties - a free drop-in session for anyone looking for support with basic digital skills. Ideal for beginners and no need to book, just turn up.

The Tea Parties will be attended by TechMate volunteers. Bring your own device or one can be provided to introduce you to the world of digital. Where and when:

  • Wigan Library, Wigan Life Centre, The Wiend, Wigan, WN1 1NH, every other Monday (from 8th January), 11:30am - 1pm
  • Tyldesley Library, Elliott St, Tyldesley, Manchester M29 8EH, every other Monday (from 15th January), 10:30am - 12pm
  • Leigh Library, Civic Square, Market Street, Leigh, WN7 1EB, every Tuesday, 12pm - 1:30pm
  • Community Corner, 55a Park Road, Wigan, WN6 7AA, every other Tuesday (from 6th January), 1:30pm – 3pm
  • The Globe Inn, 94 High St, Standish, Wigan, WN6 0HF, third Wednesday of the month, 10am - 12pm
  • Ashton Library, Wigan Road, Ashton-in-Makerfield, Wigan, WN4 9BH, every Thursday, 1:30pm - 3pm
  • Golborne Library, Tanners Lane, Golborne, Warrington, WA3 3AW, first Thursday of the month, 1pm - 2:30pm
  • Atherton Central Methodist Church, 1 Bolton Road, Atherton, Manchester M46 9JQ, last Thursday of the month, 10am - 12pm
  • Shevington Methodist Church, Gathurst Lane, Shevington, Wigan, WN6 8HA, every other Friday (from 5th January), 10:30am - 12pm
  • The Greengrass Centre, 49-51 Spa Road, Atherton, M46 9NR, every Friday, 10am - 2pm.

TechMates - Telephone support to get online

MarjorieTechMates is a digital mentor service run by our volunteers and council staff.

It was introduced in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, to prevent isolation for our most vulnerable residents.

TechMates provide one-to-one bespoke basic digital support face-to-face within the community, over the phone or via video call.

We can help you use digital technologies such as smartphones, tablets, computers or laptops so you can build your digital confidence.

To connect with one of our TechMates all you need to do is:

Here's what Marjorie had to say about her experience with TechMates...

I thought I had lost years of cherished memories when my laptop went wrong – I didn’t know what to do. The TechMates managed to sort my issues out and teach me simple steps on how to avoid the same problem in the future. I had no idea what to do, but the TechMates not only helped me, but also made me feel at ease and reassured. I continue to attend the Ashton TechMates Tea Party every week, and I have never felt more confident with digital!

Volunteer to be a TechMate

As a TechMate, you'll help transform the lives of some of the borough’s most in need residents, while adding something invaluable to your CV - including the chance to gain a Level 3 AQA qualification in TechMate Volunteering!

Digital support for care leavers

We want to support care leavers with the digital skills, devices and connectivity needed to get online and benefit from the digital world.

Help someone you know get online

If you're helping a member of your community get online, we encourage you to offer digital support over the phone. Top tips to remember:

  • Take things at a steady pace - Check out step by step online guides such as Citizen Online (external link) or Digital Unite (external link)
  • Use descriptive language when explaining things - For example, try to describe where a learner needs to click on a screen and avoid using technical jargon
  • Practice what has been learned - For example, after going through the basics of making a video why not try making and receiving calls
  • Be patient - The biggest barrier to learning digital skills is confidence. Reassure them that making mistakes is ok and it’s how we all learn.

Digital support in your local library

We offer free access to computers and WiFi in Wigan Libraries - find your nearest library and view opening times.

Our staff can demonstrate how to:

  • Get online
  • Access council and health care services
  • Apply for  benefits and work
  • Get support from our TechMates Volunteers.

Digital Communities Partnership

We work with a number of local community organisations and charities across the borough to deliver a wide range of courses and learning opportunities to our residents for all ages.

© Wigan Council