SPARK Somerset’s Spark iT project has expanded its digital café network to Chard in a bid to help get people online and increase their skills and confidence in using smart phones, tablets and laptops.

Each session takes place on Fridays between 10am and midday, upstairs at the Eleos Café, in Fore Street, and is run by fully trained Spark iT volunteer digital champions.

Samantha Briggs, the Spark iT project manager said: “123,000 people in Somerset want to get online to access NHS and government services, shopping, communication and entertainment, but struggle because they aren’t always sure how to operate their device with confidence.

“Our Somerset digital champion volunteers have already helped so many people take their first steps in learning how to use their phones, tablets and laptops, as well as supporting regular internet users to update and improve their skills.

“We can provide support with online shopping, connecting with friends and family, organising GP appointments, ordering prescriptions and finding out what’s on in the local area, discovering new entertainment or learning how to use and get more out of your digital device.”

Jill Jarman, one of the Chard Spark iT volunteers, said: “I love coming along each Friday and I have one particular lady who comes to see me each week.

“I’ve helped her improve her confidence in using her phone and her tablet so she could connect more easily with her children and grandchildren, and recently she was able to book online tickets to a live show she wanted to see.

“I would encourage anyone who would like a friendly chat and a guiding hand to bring along your device and join us.”

The Spark iT project has already helped more than 2,000 people across Somerset to improve their digital skills and works with local and national partners to provide data and devices to those in need.

The Spark iT digital café network now has 18 venues, with 95 per cent of Somerset residents having a digital café within 10 miles of their home.

For more information about the wide range of Spark iT services and new digital café locations, visit or telephone 01458 550977.