Getting started online

More and more essential services are being offered online. For now there are still choices in how you access services - traditional methods like making a phone call - but in the future some services may only be available online. And in many cases you could get a quicker response and a cheaper service online.

According to the Lloyds Consumer Digital Index, for people with high digital engagement, there are significant lifestyle and well-being benefits -

  • 87% say it helps them to connect better with friends and family
  • 84% say it helps them to organise their life
  • 55% say it makes them feel more part of a community
  • 44% say it helps them to manage physical and mental well-being.

If you're not online yet, or are online but not very confident – don’t worry you’re not alone. Getting online and improving your skills is easier than you think. There is lots of information and support to help you get online for the first time or if you want to improve your skills - even if you don’t have a computer or a broadband/Wi-Fi connection at home.

If you have the tools you need and are happy to get started independently, Learn My Way is an excellent place to start whether you are a beginner or improver. It is totally free to use and has training courses ranging from how to use your computer or device, browse and shop on the web, send an email, socialise, find work online and gain workplace skills.

To register for Learn My Way you'll need to enter your name and email address and choose a password. If you are learning from home, click the ‘Centre’ box. The Trafford Libraries centre code is 3457566.

To track your progress, you do require an email address. Try out this guide to help you choose where to start with setting up an email account. Once you have made a choice of email provider (Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo etc.), here are some step-by-step guides to help you:

The BBC have produced a Beginner's guide which you could work through independently, covering getting started with a PC and using the internet.

Age UK also have lots of tips and useful information on their website including:

Digital Unite

Digital Unite help people learn basic digital skills through their Digital Champions Network. They have produced a number of user-friendly how-to guides:

Do you need assistance to get started?

You are able to access a computer for essential use at your local library. Visit the library pages for opening times or give us a call on 0161 912 3189 for more information.

We are able to provide remote digital skills support at the moment via our Digital Champions. Our Digital Champions are advocates for the benefits of digital and can support residents to get online and help them learn basic digital skills - fill in our request for support form.

We are also launching a laptop loan scheme soon through the library service, and will update this page as soon as we have a launch date.