A MAJOR programme to help people who struggle with technology has been launched in the region.

The Keyboard Champions project is funded by Comic Relief and will help over 1,000 people in East Durham save money through the use of computing.

Over the next two years more than 20 volunteers will be recruited and trained to support the ‘digitally excluded’ through online shopping, price comparisons and providing the use of responsible lending.

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The project was officially launched by the East Durham Trust at East Durham College in Peterlee on Thursday, November 12.

Malcolm Fallow, chief executive of East Durham Trust, said: “This is a tremendous initiative that recognises that not everyone has access to a computer or is competent with IT.

“I want to thank all the volunteers who have put themselves forward to help others.”

The project offers home visits as well as drop-ins in various locations including Shotton Colliery, Wheatley Hill, Haswell, South Hetton, Wingate, Horden, Seaham, Peterlee, Trimdon Station and Easington.

One of the organisers, Paula Snowdon, from the East Durham Trust, said: “Today marked the launch of the Keyboard Champions project which has already saved local residents hundreds of pounds.

“One instance of support includes a couple who saved £276 annually on their gas and electric. £54 annually on their boiler cover and received £106 cash back through a top cash back site due to Keyboard Champion support.

“The project seeks to help local people who may be classed as ‘digitally excluded’ to improve their financial position through the use of IT.”

For more information on Keyboard Champions contact Paula Snowdon on 0191-569-3511.