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New service from Norfolk Libraries will help west Norfolk families learn from home

West Norfolk families that are struggling with home learning have a new place to turn to for advice and support.

Norfolk Libraries has set up a phone line which serves as a first stop for parents and carers in the county using new devices to teach their children.

The phone line aims to provide a friendly voice to families that aren’t familiar with home learning technology, including those that have received a new laptop or tablet as a result of Norfolk County Council’s ‘Every Child Online’ campaign.

Councillor Margaret Dewsbury.
Councillor Margaret Dewsbury.

The campaign is being run by the county council, in partnership with Norfolk Community Foundation.

It aims to ensure every child has a digital device and internet connection to learn remotely at home to make sure they are not left behind in their learning because of digital disadvantage.

When dialling the Norfolk Libraries phone line, parents and carers can expect some support with getting set up for home learning and advice as to where to get further help or help to improve their own skills.

If a family has any questions relating to the curriculum, they can contact their school directly.

Councillor John Fisher, county council cabinet member for children’s services said: “The response to our ‘Every Child Online’ campaign has been incredible so far, but it is vital that these families feel supported beyond simply receiving a device.

“I am delighted that the libraries service has stepped in to be that friendly voice on the other end of the phone for parents and carers supporting their children learning from home.

"It sends an important message to families that they are not alone.”

Councillor Margaret Dewsbury, county council cabinet member for communities and partnerships added: “Libraries are at the heart of the community and it is wonderful that the pandemic has not stopped them from playing a vital role in families lives.”

“It is undoubtedly a challenge to adjust to the ‘new normal’ of accessing education at home so I’m pleased that we can do our bit to make the process as straight forward as possible and provide parents and carers with another place to turn for support.”

Janet Holden, head of libraries and Information at the county council said: “The library service is pleased to be able to offer this support to families learning at home.

"We are used to helping people with online services and can provide support for those who are not very confident with their digital skills.

“If you are unsure about how to use the equipment or where to look once you have set it up, this friendly team of library staff will do their best to help you. Please do not hesitate to call us.”

If anyone needs help using online services, they can speak to a member of library staff on 01603 774777 between 10am and 6pm Monday to Friday and 10am and 4pm on Saturdays.

People can also register for Learn My Way and enter the name of their local library in the ‘Centre’ box for free online learning.

For help downloading eBooks or using other library services online, please email: libraries.iconnect@norfolk.gov.uk

Adult Learning also have a range of free online courses for people wanting to improve their digital skills.

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