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Page last updated at 09:51 GMT, Wednesday, 27 October 2010 10:51 UK
Get online with the First Click campaign

Diane Weed
Diane Weed says the internet has opened up a new world for her

People across north east Wales are being helped to get online as part of the BBC campaign, First Click.

The campaign's main aim is to convince people why they should take their first steps to use the internet.

Libraries across the region have been hosting basic computer courses to help people understand the internet and enjoy its benefits.

The latest research from the Welsh Assembly Government shows that 34 per cent of people are digitally excluded. That means they had not used the internet in the last four months. People over 65 are least likely to have gone online.

By using websites to compare prices for utilities, travel and other products, the average family can save hundreds of pounds a year.

Many people also use the internet to keep in touch with friends and family and to search for important information, for example about health issues, as well as exploring hobbies.

Now carers in Flintshire are being offered the chance to build their computer skills and to learn to use some of the most common software used in the workplace.

Roy Noble
BBC Radio Wales presenter Roy Noble lends his support to the campaign

The carer support organisation NEWCIS has been running IT courses for the past few years but is now offering training for the higher level European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL) qualification.

"It's so important for carers to have a recognised qualification like this to help them if they want to go back to work so that employers know what they can do," says Claire Sullivan from NEWCIS.

"It also means that they can use a computer to work from home if they need to juggle work with caring."

For the past seven years 56 year old Diane Weed from Penyffordd, near Mold, has been caring for her father who suffers from Alzheimers disease.

"I used to have a busy job and it was really strange for me when I was forced to give up work and spend most of my time at home in a quiet, restricted environment. It turns your life upside down," she says.

"When I was at school we didn't have computers so I've been trying to learn basic IT skills. I used to be a very confident person. Now I've been at home for so long that I felt so nervous I was nearly sick with fear when I went to my first computer class.

Advice line

"I'd lost a lot of my social contacts because I couldn't go out but now I can network with other carers, do my shopping, look up information about Alzheimers - the internet has opened up a new world for me.

"Although I can use the computer I've still got no formal qualifications so I've enrolled on the ECDL course now to prepare myself to go back to work one day," she adds.

Denbighshire Library Service will be running BBC First Click courses at Prestatyn, Rhuddlan, St Asaph, Ruthin and Llangollen libraries. The first session takes place on 16 November. For further information contact individual libraries. The course will also be repeated in January.

If you know someone who might need help getting online, call the free BBC First Click advice line on 08000 150 950.


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