A free new service that helps unpaid carers in Gwent to get online and make the most of the web and digital technology has launched.

Gwent Carers Online is run by Carers Trust South East Wales (CTSEW) and matches unpaid carers with fully trained digital volunteers.

Volunteers work with people to find out what things they are interested in, what digital tools they want to learn more about, or how technology could help them in their care role. This includes things like video conference systems like Zoom, messaging tools such as WhatsApp or smart speakers. The service works with people no matter what their existing knowledge and skills are and is completely free to use.

Gwent Carers Online volunteers have had full training from Digital Communities Wales, DBS checks and will receive ongoing support from CTSEW and the Gwent Association of Voluntary Organisations (GAVO).

Many unpaid carers have been particularly affected by the pandemic with vital services forced to close their doors through lockdown leading to increased social isolation and a lack of support. Gwent Carers Online aims to give carers the chance to get support and make new connections online.

People using the service can also apply for funding through the scheme to get equipment that may help them in their care role.

Carers Wellbeing Worker Zoe Cotterell oversees the running of the service. She said: “Carers play a vital role in the local Gwent community, supporting family members, neighbours and friends. Gwent Carers Online aims to help carers understand and use the many tools we take for granted everyday – from email to smart speakers.”

If you are interested in getting help to use the web call the Gwent Carers Hub on 01495 367564