TechMates 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 basic digital support over the telephone, via video call and in-person at our TechMates tea parties.
We help people use digital technologies such as smartphones, tablets, computers or laptops so our community can build digital confidence.
If you regularly use a computer, mobile device and the internet, the TechMates program needs you!
As a TechMate, you will use your passion for digital to transform the lives of some of the borough’s most in need residents, while adding something invaluable to your CV.
You will provide one-to-one support over the phone and via video or in-person at one of our TechMate tea parties to help people learn basic digital skills, such as:
- Using the internet, email and everyday apps
- Communicating with friends and family online through social media and video calls
- Staying safe online
- Transacting online - using council and government services and banking / shopping
- Creating documents and taking and sharing photos.
Most TechMate appointments run for 1 to 2 hours each week and TechMates tea parties, taking a little longer. We encourage you to keep things flexible and arrange times that suit both you and your TechMate learner.
Do I need to be an IT expert?
No, definitely not. Anyone who can make a commitment, large or small, to help people get online can become a TechMate.
We're looking for people who have:
- Good, basic computer / tablet skills
- Confidence in using the internet, email and everyday apps
- Ability to inspire and motivate people with low digital skills
- Patience to support people who are digital newbies.
To volunteer you must be aged 15 or over. For under 18s, a parent or guardian will be required to complete a volunteering consent form.
Will there be training?
Yes, full training and support will be provided. This includes:
- Introductory training to cover the basics
- Tips on how to inspire and motivate your TechMate learners
- Guidance on how to provide support in a safe way that respects everyone’s privacy
- Ongoing support from the digital team whenever you need it.
After supporting two learners, you may be considered for the TechMates AQA Level 3 qualification. The qualification is free to complete and a great achievement to add to your CV.
How do I apply to be a TechMates volunteer?
All you need to do is fill in our simple online form.