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During Covid we have found that a lot of the older people we are in contact with find it hard to access online platforms and services. We feel that online shopping, online banking and social platforms like Zoom will make a significant difference to people so we have set up this new volunteering role. 

Purpose of the role:

To support older people, over the phone, to develop IT skills enabling them to access online shopping services and digital platforms (such as Zoom). During the Coronavirus crisis lockdown and the period following this, it could transform older people’s lives to be able to access these platforms to help reduce isolation and arrange services.

What a computer support volunteer might do in this role:

· Provide one to one over the phone IT coaching for an older person.

· Supporting people to learn the basics of getting online.

· Assisting people to access specific social applications such as Zoom, Facebook etc.that they may be interested in using. These will enable them to join activities such as exercise classes, craft sessions and music activities etc as well as link with friends and family. Also online shopping services, particularly for grocery deliveries and online banking.

Personal qualities and skills most suited to this role:

· IT literacy and confidence with technology (to the level of being able to pass on

basic knowledge to others)

· Patience and empathy with older people. As this support will be over the phone it will be more difficult and will require the ability to patiently and clearly explain technology to older people.

· Good communication skills, the ability to explain information in simple terms

· Enthusiasm, and a sense of humour

· A love of gadgets and desire to share the benefits of technology with older people.

· Additional languages will be really helpful.

Volunteers will be matched with clients who have expressed a desire to learn how to use these platforms and services.

Support will be offered to clients who have a devise on which they can access the internet and are already familiar with basic use of the internet.

We welcome everyday users of technology who are confident in the basics, as well as IT experts with more advanced skills.

Location: Home based.

How much time is involved? Varied depending on availability. 1- 3 hours per week would be great.

What you can expect from us: Age UK Barnet will cover agreed out of pocket expenses for volunteers (e.g. travel costs). We will also insure you for personal and public liability for the time you are volunteering with us providing what you do is risk assessed and agreed. We are happy to provide references for our volunteers.

We accept volunteers from all backgrounds and welcome applications from those with disabilities or health conditions.

Contact Details:

Lisa Robbins, Volunteer Manager, Age UK Barnet, Ann Owens Centre, Oak Lane, East Finchley N2 8JT Tel: 020 8432 1422 Email:

Resources and links

How to guide clients through an online shop:

Online Grocery shop.docx

A super simple guide to setting up on Zoom: