John Crich

Finalist category: IT Volunteer of the Year Award


Finalist, 2016

John Crich is a volunteer Digital Champion with Time to Get Online, a digital inclusion project that pairs tech-savvy volunteers with people who want to learn how to use their smartphone, tablet or laptop, or who want help in using online services. He also helps out at events across County Durham, and underwent specialist digital training to enable him to have the skills and knowledge to deliver the service to other users.

10 million people in the UK are currently not online, meaning that they are missing out on valuable savings by not shopping or paying bills online, and who could be catching up with friends and family regularly via programmes like Skype. 90% of jobs now require IT skills, and earnings increase by 25% simply by having good computer skills. Time to Get Online’s aim is to raise awareness, increase capability and motivation in using online services, and increase digital, financial and social inclusion. John plays a key part in the project, empowering users with one-to-one support with his patient and relaxed approach to learning.

Service users at Time to Get Online, learning how to use an iPad

John is currently in the process of developing a web-based community forum which the public will be able to access free of charge, and will include FAQ’s, guides and a facility to submit questions, and receive a personal response. John, who is on the autistic spectrum, is determined that others see past his disability, and is an inspiration for us all as an example of living life to the full and achieving our full potential.

Finalist for the IT Volunteer of the Year Award, John Crich is supporting older people get online with his relaxed and informal approach to learning. Visit the Time to Get Online website for more information. To find out who won the IT Volunteer of the Year Award, visit the Winners 2016 page.

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