Digital Skills

Rural Action Yorkshire is a registered UK Online Centre. Where we can acquire funding, we deliver computer and online skills training sessions using village halls and other venues to reach rural and isolated communities. We also support village halls in developing their own computer related activities, often in conjunction with our Community Broadband project.

We began providing computer skills training in 2014 when we were funded by Tinder Foundation, the charity who coordinate UK Online Centres, to deliver their Digital Inclusion Project, using their learnmyway website to provide Basic Online Skills training. That initial project reached a total of around 80 learners in seven venues across North and South Yorkshire. In 2015 we provided further Digital Skills training in six venues that were taking part in our Community Friendly Buildings Project. And so far in 2016 we have provided training to 65 learners in four villages thanks to funding from Hambleton District Council. Later in the year, three communities in West Yorkshire will be offering Digital Skills training to local people thanks to RAY and their involvement in the Leeds Community Connect project.

In total so far we have reached over 200 learners in 14 communities. Many of the community venues that have hosted our training have continued to provide their own computer skills sessions as a new activity (see below for more informations about one of these.)

The training delivered via learnmyway is specifically for online skills such as:

  • setting up an email address
  • searching for information online
  • using public services online
  • using health services online
  • shopping and banking online
  • social media
  • online safety and security

It is aimed at beginners: people who have perhaps just been given a computer or tablet as a gift and are able to turn it on and make some basic use of it but have not used it to get online much, if at all.

We can also work with community venues to develop training methods aimed at different groups or skill levels - just let us know what your community's requirements are.


Our delivery of Digital Skills training sessions is reliant on securing funding. At the moment we do not have any funded Digital Skills projects that are open to new venues. However, we are always interested in hearing from community buildings and other organisations that might be interested in hosting these sessions - all expressions of interest are recorded and can help us demonstrate demand when we talk to potential funders and partners such as local authorities, so do contact us. If you have your own project funding and would be interested in having RAY deliver Digital Skills training in your community, we can be commissioned to deliver training directly. Again, just get in touch.


Ideally we are looking for venues with rooms large enough to host around ten learners for 2-hour sessions on a weekly or fortnightly basis. If demand is high in your community and sufficient funding is available, we can schedule multiple sessions at the same venue. You will need a good broadband connection and WiFi or, failing that, be in a spot that is able to receive a good Three Mobile phone signal, preferably 4G.

If you have your own computers, projector and screen that would be great, but we are able to bring equipment with us if needed. Learners can bring their own devices - indeed we encourage this. The training is delivered online so equipment simply needs to be able to connect to the internet via WiFi.

If your community venue or organisation would be interested in hosting this online skills training, or if you know of people in your community who would be interested in taking the course, please contact our Digital Skills Officer, James Russell, by calling 0845 313 0270 or via email.

Why not read this article which explains how a church hall in the village of Brompton-on-Swale got involved in the project? Since RAY started delivering training sessions there, they have purchased their own mobile wifi device and have recruited a volunteer with IT support experience and a supply of old laptops to continue providing online skills training to local people without RAY's direct involvement! Many other village halls where we have delivered training have continued to run computer skills sessions or internet cafés as new activity following our involvement.

Also, click on the link below to see our report from our recent Hambleton Digital Skills project, which ran until February 2016.



Related stories

FREE AND BASIC Internet training is available for those struggling to get to grips with getting online across Yorkshire, as part of a new charity project which wants to reach those who feel excluded from the rapidly-changing digital world.

File 2015-16 Hambleton Digital Skills Project Report A4 screen version.pdf2.01 MB