Skip to content

Digital exclusion has always been an issue for older people. Being able to get competitive utility deals, bid for more suitable social housing or simply find out about what’s going on in their area is something many of us take for granted.

The COVID-19 health crisis has further highlighted the digital divide between those who have the means to access the resources and opportunities available on the internet and those who do not. At Age UK Tunbridge Wells, we know that teaching anything to anyone is always much more successful when there is a relationship and trust between trainer and trainee. We also know that it takes more than one or two isolated sessions to really embed a new skill.

We have combined our Befriending Project with our Digital Inclusion work to create a new volunteer-led programme of remote support which aims to give older people the skills and knowledge they need to get online!

As this is a new programme, we will be testing it as a 3-month pilot to ensure we are getting it right. During the pilot phase, we will be asking for regular feedback from our Digital Buddies as well the people they support.

What's involved?


Minimum of 2 months, 1 hours per week plus feedback submissions and monthly peer group meeting (1 hour).

Purpose of Role

  • To develop a friendship over the telephone with an older person.
  • To use a basis of shared interests to support the older person to get online with the support of printed materials provided by Age UK Tunbridge Wells.
  • To provide feedback to aid programme development.

Support Provided

  • Full remote training and induction provided.
  • Supervision and direct contact with the Volunteer Coordinator.
  • Join and participate in peer support groups and meet other volunteers to share experiences and best practice.

Skills and attributes Required

  • Good communication with a friendly approachable manner and solution focused
  • Good listening skills
  • Reliable and committed to do at least 1 session a week
  • Ability to navigate the internet via smart phone, tablet and/or PC


Your Digital Buddy volunteer journey

Week 1 After application & DBS granted; attend a 1/2 hour introduction session for an insight into what the service is with information and advice on how the delivery is implemented.
Week 2 Volunteers matched with Client and a 'get to know each other' telephone call and to arrange a future support session to download Zoom over the telephone. Then to conduct download and installation of Zoom with printed guides.
Week 3 Support client with making a Zoom video call and then to both join an online activity from the Age UK Tunbridge Wells virtual timetable
Week 4 During this week, the volunteer Digital Buddies will meet as a peer group via Zoom to provide an opportunity to share experiences, provide feedback and speak with staff about the journey so far.
Ongoing Providing ongoing weekly digital support and training with matched clients. This could involve support with areas such as: Using the internet, privacy settings, setting up/ sending emails, YouTube etc.

Start you're journey to becomming an Age UK digital buddy in under 8 minutes by watching this short training video.