New initiative launches to help people get online

by Foundation of Light

Online Owls starts Friday.

The Foundation of Light is taking part in a new community initiative launched this week to teach people living within the Chester-le-Street area how to use computers and access the internet.

Online Owls is a project to help people understand how to use a computer, tablet computer and mobile phone. It will also enable them to access the internet to make savings online, search for jobs and use social media channels such as Twitter and Facebook.

This free service is available to all residents living within the Chester-le-Street district and will be delivered by fully trained volunteers.

The project received £9,500 from the Big Lottery Fund and is being supported by local housing provider, Cestria Community Housing, The Durham County Cricket Foundation, Sunderland AFC’s Foundation of Light, the Chester-le-Street & District Area Action Partnership Go ON UK and Chester le Street Volunteer Centre.

Online Owls will be launched on Friday 6th December at the Market Square in Chester-le-Street between 9am and 3pm.  Trainers will be on hand to speak to people and provide more information and free fitness checks will also be provided for everybody who attends.

Gail Pattison, Support Services Manager at Cestria Community Housing, said: “Online Owls is one of the first initiatives to be launched in this area offering free advice and information to local residents.

“The project is supported by a number of key partners and will help people to get online and make full use of IT equipment such as computers and tablet devices.

“The service is available to all people of all ages and has been launched at this time of year in the lead up to Christmas, when lots of people will receive tablets and phones as presents but may not know how to use them.

“Online Owls will help people to get online, search for jobs, do online shopping and a whole host of other activities that the internet allows you to do.”

Mark Pae, Area Manager for the Foundation of Light, said: “The Foundation is delighted to part of this initiative and we are providing our active bus, which is sponsored by Arriva, for people to come and speak to us and carry out free fitness checks.

We are looking forward to working with all partners involved in Online Owls and meeting lots of residents across the Chester-le-Street District in the New Year.”

As part of the launch at the Market Square this Friday, people can get up close to real owls and Santa will also be available to meet the children.

For more information on Online Owls, please contact 0191 385 1436 or e-mail .  You can also like the Online Owls Facebook page at ‘Online Owls’ or follow @onlineowls on Twitter.