A range of ‘Digital Cafes’ will be launched across York to help all groups better learn about technology.

The York-based Keeping Digital Foundation is creating the network to combat digital exclusion, which will see residents getting support in getting online.

The charity will be working with Digital  to roll out the cafés, where people can come along, have a warm drink and get answers to their questions about all things digital and ask for advice about getting the most out of their digital devices.

 Volunteers will be on hand to help people get online, and support could be anything from setting up a smart phone to signing up to the NHS app or York Council website. No bookings are required, and people can stick around for a few minutes, or a couple of hours.

 The first Digital Cafe will be held at Tang Hall Explore Library on Saturday September 24 from 10am to 12 noon.

Digital Cafes will then happen regularly with volunteers available to answer questions and provide dedicated workshops. Participants will also be offered advice on where they can access digital support outside of the café sessions.

Further locations will be revealed throughout the year, with more Digital Cafes set to appear across the city at Explore libraries and community centres.  

The Keeping Digital Foundation says the cafes will help the charity boost its volunteering opportunities.

Sixth-form/college students and university students can sign up for a flexible volunteering role that will allow them to engage with their community and learn new skills. Training and support is provided, and people can register their interest to volunteer on the Keeping Digital Foundation website.

Foundation community co-ordinator Luke Castle said: ““This is an incredibly exciting initiative, and also a really important addition to support services in York that are dedicated to providing digital inclusion support to residents.

“With large amounts of services moving online, it’s important that residents are provided an option to gain the skills they need to make the most of digital and to get connected, whether that be finding out about local Council information or getting in touch with their GP via the NHS app.

“Our volunteers will be available for a warm drink and a chat, and we really encourage residents to stop by and speak with them to find out more about how we can support them in getting online.”

 Barbara Swinn, Head of Strategy and Engagement at Explore Libraries and Archives and lead partner for 100% Digital York added: “Digital Cafes are a great addition to the work already happening in the city to support people to build digital confidence, providing a relaxed, informal drop-in with a warm drink and friendly support in the heart of the community. This initiative will support the ambition of a digitally inclusive city for all.”

 More details are available at www.keepingdigital.org.uk/support/cafes and at any Explore library.