If you or someone you know needs help to get online there’s a range of support available:
If you need help with doing things online
Get Online – Go Digital
If you need help using your smart device or want to brush up on your IT skills, come along to one of our Idea Stores’ weekly Get Online – Go Digital drop-in sessions and learn at your own pace:
- Idea Store Chrisp Street - Tuesdays, 2.15 to 3.45pm
- Idea Store Whitechapel - Wednesdays, 2.15 to 3.45pm
Linkage Plus (50+)
Our Linkage Plus hubs host a range of digital support drop-in sessions across the borough throughout the week for people over 50 living in Tower Hamlets.
- Age UK East London, Caxton Community Centre - 020 8981 7124 (option 2)
- Neighbours in Poplar, St Matthias Community Centre - 020 7531 0190
- Peabody at Sundial, Sundial Centre - 020 8828 3928
- St Hilda’s, Sonali Gardens - 020 7265 9292
- Toynbee Hall, Wellbeing Centre - 020 7392 2913
Call for more information or visit the Linkage Plus website.
Housing providers and other partners
Some housing providers and other local partners provide digital drop-ins and support for their residents. Check our digital support map for more information.
If you need access to a digital device
Idea Stores and Libraries
If you don’t have your own computer you can visit one of our Idea Stores or Libraries and use one of our PCs for free. You need to have a membership (free).
Visit you nearest Idea Store and Library for more information.
Some local organisations in Tower Hamlets will also lend devices such as laptops and tablets to people that use their services.
- Clarion Housing lends devices and provides a wide range of support for its residents
- Age UK East London also provides digital support and a limited number of devices for people aged 50+
You can buy affordable refurbished computers from £99 from Get Online @ Home. A digital inclusion initiative run by Computer Recyclers UK. Call 0371 9100 100 for more information.
If you need access to the internet
Idea Stores and Libraries
If you don’t have internet access at home or on your mobile you can use free Wi-Fi at our Idea Stores and Libraries.
Our Idea Stores have partnered with the National Databank to provide free sim cards pre-loaded with mobile data for residents who are struggling with the cost of mobile connectivity.
Visit your nearest Idea Store or Library for more information.
Most internet providers offer lower-cost packages for people receiving state benefits. This is usually with free installation and no cancellations fees.
See what's available on the Ofcom Social tariffs website.
There are also pay-as-you-go mobile data packages available from less than £10/mth, with no need for credit checks or a contract.
See what's available on the Sim only section of the Money Saving Expert website.
If you’re interested in digital skills training
Idea Store Learning
Our Idea Stores provide a wide range of free digital training courses to help you get started in IT and improve your digital skills.
Visit your nearest Idea Store for more information about Digital skills
Many other local providers also offer free digital training courses:
There is a wide range of free online training options. The National Careers Service lists free computer essentials courses from Microsoft, Lloyds Bank and the Good Things Foundation.
For more information call 0800 100 900 or visit the The Skills Toolkit website.
If you need help accessing council services
If you don’t have a device with internet access you can use a computer at one of our Digital Hubs free of charge. There are easy-to-follow equipment guides and staff will give light support where needed.
Visit your nearest Idea Store Digital Hub for more information.
If you cannot access online council services by yourself you can request support from our Digital Assistance Team.
They can help you with filling out online forms either over the phone or face-to-face if needed.
Please ask someone to submit the digital support request form for you and we will be in touch within 72 hours.
If you have a disability and need advice on accessible technology
Ability Net provides a wide range of free tech support and information about how computers and other digital technologies can help people with a range of conditions and impairments.
- Advice and information on the AbilityNet website
- A tool to help with built-in accessibility features on the My Computer My Way website
- Free helpline – 0800 048 7642
Digital Unite also provide a wide range of easy-read technology guides on topics from getting starting to video calling and staying safe. Visit the Easy read technology guides on the Digital Unite website.
If you want advice on staying safe online
If you’re new to the internet the Get Safe Online website provides a range of unbiased, factual and easy-to-understand information about staying safe online.
If you have been the victim of an online scam or cybercrime you should report it to Action Fraud as soon as you can. Call 0300 123 204 or report it on the Action Fraud website.
The Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline can also give you advice and support if you think you may have come across a scam. Call 0808 223 1133 or report it on the Citizens Advice website.
Check our digital support map for more information. You can also download a PDF version of the support map.
If you’re an organisation helping people with digital inclusion
If you need some general advice and guidance on delivering a digital inclusion programme, there’s plenty of information available from the national Digital Inclusion Toolkit.
The London Office of Technology and Innovation (LOTI) have also produced a wide range of guidance on different types of digital inclusion projects.
If you’re planning to deliver a device lending or gifting initiative, we have also produced a series of templates to help you get started.