Tech Support Volunteer
Ability Net NI
About the Volunteer Opportunity
At AbilityNET NI they support people of any age, living with any disability or impairment to use technology to achieve their goals at home at work and in education. They do this by providing specialist advice services, free information resources and by helping to build a more accessible digital world.
As a tech support volunteer, you can empower people in our community and make a lasting difference in their lives by sharing your knowledge of the online world, providing companionship and helping people who would otherwise be isolated to stay in touch with loved ones and the wider community.
You will provide one-on-one support in person or by phone, helping people learn how to use computers and smartphones to access the internet. You will also provide advice on how to use digital services and platforms safely and with confidence – these include online banking, shopping, booking health appointments and using Skype or facetime to connect with family and friends.
They require all volunteers to have access to their own phone and laptop or tablet and require the following skills:
- Good Interpersonal skills and an ability to relate to people who are older
- A patient manner and an ability to support people as they learn new skills
- An understanding of basic internet technology, including laptops, tablets and smartphones and be able to offer impartial advice on technology
- Make adaptations to support a disabled person’s specific needs
- Set up Tech and install hardware or software
- Show people how to use their tech at home, e.g. shopping online, sending and receiving emails, setting up Skype/Zoom calls
- To be accepted in this role you will be required to submit two character references and undergo Access NI checking.
All across the UK our 300 volunteers support older and/or disabled people at home to offer one-to-one support with their technology, whether that’s a computer, laptop, smartphone or tablet.
- Trouble shoot technical issues.
- Offer impartial advice on technology.
- Set up new tech and install hardware and software.
- Show people how to use their tech at home e.g. shop online, send and receive emails and Skype with family and friends.
- Make adaptations to support a disabled person’s specific technology needs.
What will I be doing?
- Contacting clients to arrange a date/time to support (home visits or supporting them remotely).
- Carrying out tech support for the clients you have accepted.
- Feeding back on progress via our online ticketing system.
- Supporting your local Coordinator with promoting the volunteer service in the local area.
- Getting together with other tech volunteers at team meetings and wider company events.
- Undergoing training on technology, particularly adaptive technology.
- Supporting other volunteers through our online chat facility.
What skills do I need?
You don’t need to be a tech guru to help out. If you use a computer at home or work, and perhaps support family and friends with their tech issues, you are likely to have the skills we need:
- A passion to help others.
- Good IT and computer skills.
- Knowledge of standard operating systems and software.
- The ability to communicate well with people. • Patience and empathy.
- Your own transport or good transport links. (‘if you are housebound, you may still be able to help people using the telephone, or remote support software)
What are the benefits to me?
As an AbilityNet Tech volunteer you can:
- Change the lives of disabled and older people.
- Benefit from technology and disability training.
- Network with a nationwide team of other Tech volunteers.
- Be flexible with your volunteering and plan it around your other work and home commitments.
How much time will I need to offer?
The service is client led and will depend on the demand in your local area. The work is flexible and you can arrange visits around your home and work commitments. On average a volunteer undertakes 4 hours of volunteering a month, this can be in or out of work hours, in the evenings or weekends.
What else do I need to know?
We pay travel expenses at 45p per mile.
As you will be help vulnerable adults you’ll need an enhanced Access NI check which will be renewed/checked every 2 years (at no cost to the volunteer).
About the Organisation
Whatever your age, health condition, disability or situation we are here to help you find exactly the right way to adapt to technology with ease in your every day life and IT can often be the only way in which disabled people can communicate easily with family and friends.
AbilityNet NI is built around a network of volunteers who offer disabled people free, computer-related assistance either in their own homes or at other locations such as day centres.
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Register your interest
Volunteers may be required to complete an Access NI disclosure for some volunteering roles. A criminal record will not necessarily be a bar to obtaining a volunteer position.