Age UK in Ross-on-Wye have teamed up with Herefordshire Council’s Fastershire project to help to get more people online in south Herefordshire.

The project equipped volunteers, David Sheppard and Philip Preston to provide IT advice and support to beginners in the area.

Melissa Fresson is one of those who benefitted and credits the training with her new found confidence.

“I had never even turned a computer on until a friend showed me, so these sessions have been fantastic.

The trainers, David and Philip were wonderful and incredibly patient which was so important. I constantly use the internet now and regularly watch films and television programmes online and I do a lot of shopping. More recently I’ve even started trying to trace old school friends.”

Age UK and Fastershire


Ali Fletcher, Age UK, Project-Coordinator, said:

"The project has been a great success due to the wonderful support skills and dedication of the volunteers involved.

Those who have benefitted have told us it has decreased their social isolation by giving them contact to others via skype or email with family members or friends who do not live close by. Other benefits have been being able to save photos of grandchildren and purchasing goods at better prices via the internet."

Councillor Paul Rone, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said:

“As much of the county now has access to faster broadband as a result of Herefordshire Council’s Fastershire project, it’s essential that we help ensure that everyone is able to benefit.

This project is a great example of how the working in partnership with groups like Age UK can help bring about significant change to people’s lives and increase digital inclusion across the county.”

For more information about Age UK support, visit or for information about Fastershire’s grant funding to help community organisations, groups and clubs in Herefordshire get online, email

Published: Friday, 1st March 2019