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A Chance for All to Get Online for the First Time
Tuesday 12th September, 2006

They say you never forget your first time. So when it comes to providing the public with the skills they need to use the internet, Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust are amongst the first to help break down the barriers of cyberspace.

First Time Online, is part of a new initiative to get more people in the UK using the internet, is being introduced at Wigan Borough's libraries from September 18th. A series of short free taster sessions that aim to provide people with advice about the how to use the internet and what benefits it can bring, will take place at eight libraries across the borough until April.

Free internet access has long been available at the Wigan Borough's libraries and there are 184 terminals available across the borough through the people's network. It is hoped that through First Time Online more people will become able to use the internet and access the web for a variety of benefits including:
  • finding out information about local services
  • organising benefits and council taxshopping for goods and holidays
  • searching for new jobs.

Richard Allen, Project Development Officer for Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust, says, "The purpose of 'First Time Online' is to show people of all ages and abilities the benefits of using the internet and how it can improve their everyday life. These sessions are ideally suited for people who may not have prior knowledge of computers. I would urge anyone who is curious about the internet to sign up soon for one of our free courses."

All members of the public who sign up for one of the courses during September will receive a free 'First Time Online' mug.

Wigan Rugby League legend, Billy Boston, thinks the scheme is a great idea, "I'm new to computers myself, but this really has opened my eyes. I didn't even know you could pay your bills over the internet! I think it is a great initiative and it is brilliant that you only have to go to your local library to use the internet for free."

For further information, or to sign up for one the courses, please contact your local library or call Richard Allen on 01942 486975 for further details. Register for a session in person on anyone of the following dates:
  • Monday 18th September, 2 - 4pm at Ashton Library
  • Tuesday 19th September, 11am - 1pm at Marsh Green Library
  • Wednesday 20th September, 11am - 1pm at Atherton Library
  • Wednesday 20th September, 2 - 4pm at Hindley Library
  • Thursday 21st September, 9.30 -10.30am at Ince Library
  • Thursday 21st September, 10am -12pm at Leigh Library
  • Thursday 21st September, 11.30am - 1.30pm at Tyldesley Library
  • Thursday 21st September, 4 - 6pm at Wigan Library

First Time Online is a UFI (University for Industry) initiative being delivered at UK online centres across the country. All 16 of Wigan Borough's libraries are officially recognised as UK online centres.

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