Aurora’s story: getting online to connect with the world


Aurora wanted to learn how to use a tablet, as she couldn’t get on with her old computer. Suffering from fibromyalgia and depression, she struggled with contacting the outside world, especially during lockdown.

Aurora lived alone, and due to her condition, she found travelling to see family very difficult. “I couldn’t talk to anyone, and I felt like I was in jail or a solitary cell.”

After talking to Aurora to understand her situation, we referred her to our training provider, who supported her to learn how to use a touch screen device. The sessions were provided free of charge and included setting up her profile on the tablet, sending emails with attachments, creating an online account to access free learning resources, and understanding how to make video calls. Our main focus was to make sure that Aurora could contact her family via video call.

After starting the remote training in September 2020 with little confidence using a computer or device, Aurora completed her fourth and final training session in November 2020, using the same trainer throughout. At the end of the training, she was grateful to receive a device from us, so she could continue to learn and become more confident carrying out daily tasks online.

Aurora now calls her family twice a week and has signed up to online learning resources to further her knowledge around using her new device.

Help a loved one get online

If you’d like to help someone get online, these tips might help:

  1. Find a hobby or interest: This could help motivate your loved one to get online and continue to be active online. Learning digital skills requires consistency to build confidence and knowledge.
  2. Be patient: Often the reason why people don’t get online is a lack of confidence. You may need to go over the same thing several times, but small steps have a big impact on how someone progresses.
  3. Keep it simple: When showing a loved one how to navigate around their device or the internet, keep terminology simple and avoid jargon. Too much information can be overwhelming and put someone off going online again.
  4. Keep practising: When you’re teaching someone how to do something, give them time to practise the steps repeatedly, and make notes they can refer to in their own time. That way they can continue to learn and build confidence when you’re not there to help them.
  5. Use tools and resources: There are lots of resources and tools that can help you support someone to get online. Have a look around and see what you can find. One option is a website called Learn My Way, where you can find free, online courses to help you develop skills ranging from using a keyboard to submitting Universal Credit claims. If you want to set up a Learn My Way account, you will need to enter our centre code: 34555365.
  6. Talk to us! We have a range of support services and resources to help you navigate the online world confidently or help someone else enjoy it,

How can I refer someone?

If you want to help a loved one get online or feel more confident, call us on 0800 432 0077 or send us an email. For more information about helping yourself, others and your community to use the internet, you can visit the help section of our website.