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Missing digital skills? Local support IS available.

By Chloe May, Research & Campaigns Volunteer

At CAEE we’re seeing more and more people struggling to navigate the online world. Digital services are more prevalent; not knowing how to use the internet or not having access are huge problems.

This is digital exclusion. The national Citizens Advice definition is:

‘….significant and enduring lack of access to the internet. This includes experiences linked to lack of access in the home, lack of any access or having no digital skills’.
When everything is online and vice versa life with poor skills is often bewildering.

Currently 1 in 20 UK adults do not use the internet and can’t benefit from digital services. Furthermore 1 in 5 adults lack some essential digital skills such as using email or search engines. Their use of the basics is severely curtailed.

Digital disadvantage

The Lloyds Essential Digital Skills report has found that digital disadvantage intersects with other vulnerabilities such as age. 97% of 18-24 year olds have the digital skills essential for life compared to just 26% of those 75 and older. 

In Epsom & Ewell many of our clients struggled with the internet. For example, many online forms including crucial benefit applications won’t be accepted without an email address. If you haven’t got one you can’t apply or get the benefits and services you need.

All our advisers can help clients with essential applications.

CAEE specialist Digital Support Officers have the training and experience to help clients with particular problems. They may have a disability such as dyslexia. Perhaps English isn’t their first language. Or they are older and unused to life online. Find out more in a fascinating blog by our DSO colleague Alison.  

Local classes

We also help publicise free digital classes put on by other organisations in the borough. Check out our local digital support page for what’s on offer from:

  • Surrey Libraries – Epsom and Ewell Bourne Hall
  • Age Concern Epsom & Ewell
  • Nescot College

At CAEE we work to highlight problems caused by business or public bodies’ poor policy or practice. Check out our Digital Exclusion Campaign.

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