A Warm Welcome from Tameside Libraries Who Can Help Residents to Get Online

Date Released - 08/02/2023

Tameside Libraries give residents a Warm Welcome, offering a warm space, free access to computers, Wi-Fi and support to get online.

Tameside Libraries double as Warm Welcome Hubs during staffed hours. During these hours visitors can enjoy free tea, coffee or a soft drink. There are eight welcoming libraries across Tameside which provide soft seating, free-Wi-Fi, and computer facilities where residents can spend their time reading or relaxing. Friendly and helpful library staff can also provide people with a range of information and signpost to local support that is available.

To find staffed library opening times and other Warm Welcome Hubs in Tameside please visit www.tameside.gov.uk/helpinghand/warm-welcome-hub

Alongside a being a Warm Welcome Hub, wide selection of books, comfy seating and free warm drinks during staffed Warm Welcome hours, Tameside Libraries can help residents get connected. Staff can assist residents to learn to use computers and online tools and even get connected via the Good Things Foundation National Databank.

Tameside Libraries are now part of the Good Things Foundation National Databank, which can offer free SIM cards to adults who cannot afford to access the internet. Residents will normally receive data for up to 6 months. If you would like to apply please call us on 0161 342 2031.

You can bring your own device and use the free WiFi during your visit, or library members can use the computers provided to access the internet free of charge. This is limited to one hour per day during periods. Becoming a member is free, find out how to join at www.tameside.gov.uk/libraries/membership

Assistant Executive Member for Culture, Heritage and Digital Inclusivity Cllr Sangita Patel said: ‘’Offering digital support to residents through our libraries is incredibly important. Tasks such as booking appointments and ordering prescriptions have moved online, but we can’t assume everyone is confident with using phones or computers.’’

‘’Being able to use these devices confidently is also a great tool to reduce isolation. People can be aware of current news at the click of button and can easily seeing what others are doing via social media. Visiting our libraries during Warm Welcome hours can also help residents be social, learn new skills, keep bills down at home, use our excellent IT facilities and they can enjoy a free brew too.’’

Not only can libraries help with access to IT facilities and Wi-Fi, they can assist with building confidence online. Libraries TechKnow Buddies are volunteers skilled at helping people with little or no experience of computers. Tameside Libraries are currently recruiting volunteers to become TechKnow Buddies. Volunteers do not need to be experts but if you’re calm and supportive person who enjoys working with people the role will be extremely rewarding.

For more information on TechKnow buddies and becoming a volunteer at www.tameside.gov.uk/libraries/buddies 

Ashton Library runs I.T. courses for beginners to get started with a new device or using the internet more safely and confidently. Topics include online job searching, shopping, banking, managing your health and completing online forms. iDEA sessions are also on offer to help improve digital and employability skills.

To find out more about the sessions please visit www.tameside.gov.uk/helpinghand/getonline