20 May 2022

Free digital skills classes for older people in Laois

Free digital skills classes for older people in Laois

Free in-person digital skills classes for older people in Laois are being made available in May as part of the rollout across Ireland as part of the Hi Digital partnership initiative between Vodafone Ireland Foundation, Active Retirement Ireland and ALONE.

The first class will be held at Vicarstown Community Centre, Portlaoise (R32 RX67) on Tuesday 10 May at 3pm.

A first of its kind, five-year programme, Hi Digital was developed to bridge the worsening digital divide in Ireland and support older people with little or no digital skills to get online.

In-person Hi Digital classes are now available to book across the country and are open to any person aged 65+ who would like to develop their digital literacy and confidence with guidance and support alongside other older people in their community.

The Hi Digital training course consists of bite-sized lessons organised around key digital themes including internet basics and how to use online devices, as well as digital apps and features such as social media or video calling that can enhance daily life and combat isolation. Topics covered include:

  • Sending emails
  • Keeping in touch with friends and family through social media or video calling
  • Online banking and government services online
  • Looking up information for hobbies or travel
  • Reading, watching and listening to news online
  • Online shopping
  • Using the internet on your phone
  • Using your phone to take and share pictures or videos
  • Online safety and more.

Maureen Kavanagh is the CEO of Active Retirement Ireland.

“We’re so pleased to announce the national rollout of the Hi Digital face-to-face digital skills classes. Through this next stage of the Hi Digital programme, our in-person classes will further support older people’s participation online. This will help ensure they have the appropriate access and skills to engage with digital services, along with expanding the possibilities on offer to them from the digital shift.

“The Hi Digital programme is about giving older people in Ireland more choices and empowering them to learn the skills they need if they do want to get online. Classes are free and I encourage any older person who would like to improve their digital skills to get in touch and sign up,” she said.

The Hi Digital programme is delivered across the strands: online learning using Vodafone Ireland Foundation’s Hi Digital online platform, face to face classroom learning run by Active Retirement Ireland, and the upskilling by ALONE of organisations who work to support older people so that they can provide Hi Digital training and guidance to their service users directly.

Anyone wishing to attend a class can book their place by contacting Active Retirement Ireland on 1800 20 30 30, or by emailing 


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