A TEAM of volunteers is on hand to help residents across the county stay connected during lockdown.

Dorset Council’s Digital Champions, who used to hold regular surgeries in libraries, have continued offering expertise throughout the coronavirus crisis.

Now with another lockdown underway and winter edging closer, they are urging people to contact them if they need help getting online.

From setting up Zoom meetings to FaceTiming friends and family on their smartphones, the champions say they are here to assist with any digital enquiry.

Dorset Council deputy leader Cllr Peter Wharf said: “One of the most important things that helped get us through the last lockdown was the ability to digitally stay in touch with our loved ones.

“Our digital world also enabled people to work from home, helped businesses stay alive and allowed children to keep up with their education.

“Technology can make a huge difference to people’s lives and help them feel less isolated.

“We would urge anyone who needs help with any aspect of digital technology to call our hotline and benefit from the expertise of our wonderful Digital Champions.”

Since the Digital Hotline was launched in March, more than 450 people have called in for assistance.

Enquiries have ranged from ordering groceries online to setting up virtual Tai Chi sessions and accessing NHS website services to solving more technical problems with a laptop.

Digital Champion Andy Penney, said: “We would urge people to call us with whatever digital issue they may have, however big or small the problem may seem.

“A lockdown during the winter is likely to be a particularly difficult period for many people but technology can really help by keeping everyone better connected while making life easier.”

Fellow Champion Mike Watson, said: “Our aim is to help people get over any hurdle that might be preventing them from enjoying and making the most of digital technology.

“Wherever you are in Dorset we are here, ready and waiting to help with any technical enquiry you may have.”

Call the Dorset Digital Hotline with a digital question on 01305 221048 weekdays from 10am to 12noon.

When calling outside those times people can leave a message and a Digital Champion will get back to them.