Spark iT

Over 11 million people in the UK need help to get online. Together, we can reduce that number. 

Why is digital inclusion important? 

Digital Inclusion is about helping people to develop the skills and confidence they need to use digital technology safely.  We believe that people can improve their health, wellbeing and connectivity by finding online confidence.  And, as the internet becomes increasingly embedded in our day-to day lives, it is more important than ever to ensure people can access online government, health, and business services and use the internet for entertainment purposes too. 

How can Spark iT help?

Spark iT aims to provide support to anyone in Somerset who wants to access the internet, but can’t currently get online. We do this by: 

  • Operating and supporting Digital Cafés and other drop-in services in key towns across the county (a full list of locations is available further down this page)

  • Partnering with community organisations and businesses to help low-income families access digital devices and data. 

  • Training and supporting staff and volunteers from community organisations to deliver digital support in their own groups and meetings.

How to get involved 

We have a network of Somerset Digital Champion volunteers who are interested in technology, and really interested in helping their neighbours - and we'd love you to join us! We have a wide variety of voluntary roles available and our Digital Champions have access to an extensive package of training and support. You can find out more and sign up to be a Digital Champion here.  

For more information about Spark iT please email (sparkit@sparksomerset.org.uk), telephone 01458 550 977, or get in touch via Live Chat. 

We're delivering Spark iT in partnership with BARCLAYS, SOMERSET NHS FOUNDATION TRUST, and SOMERSET ICS

Digital Cafés

Digital Cafés are free to attend and open to anyone who is struggling to keep up with technology or would like to learn how to get online, or use a mobile phone, laptop or tablet.

All Digital Cafés are run by fully trained staff and volunteers and are based in accessible buildings with good public transport links.

The current locations in Somerset are:

  • Bridgwater - The Town Hall every Tuesday from 10am-12pm
  • Burnham-on-Sea - The Waffle Hub (Methodist Church, College Street) every Wednesday from 10am-12pm
  • Chard - The Eleos Cafe every Friday from 10am-12pm
  • Crewkerne* - The Library every Wednesday from 10am-12pm
  • Frome - Cheese & Grain every Thursday from 10am-12pm
  • Frome* - Medical Centre every Tuesday from 10am-12pm, and every Thursday from 4pm-6pm
  • Glastonbury - St. John's Church every Monday from 10am-12pm
  • Highbridge - The Purple Spoon Cafe every Monday from 10am-12pm
  • Minehead - Minehead Eye every Thursday from 1-3pm
  • Queen Camel* - Village Community Cafe every second Tuesday of the month from 10:30am-12pm
  • Shepton Mallet* - The Library every Thursday from 2-4pm
  • Taunton* - The Library every Thursday from 11am-12pm
  • Taunton* - Digital Drop-In at the Priorswood Community Centre every Wednesday from 1:30-3:30pm (£2 charge; includes refreshments)
  • Watchet - The Library every Thursday from 10:30am-12pm
  • Wells* - Bookable IT Help Sessions at the Library every Wednesday and Thursday from 10:30-11:30am
  • Wincanton - The Balsam Centre every Wednesday from 10:30am-12:30pm

We advise contacting the venues before attending, as there may be occasions where holidays or other issues may mean that times are changed.

(Locations marked with an asterisk* are delivered by Spark iT partners, including the Library Service, Somerset Council and Frome Medical Centre)

Free data

Thanks to support from Vodafone’s charities.connected initiative, we are now able to provide free SIM cards with 6 months of data, calls and texts to anyone in Somerset who is aged 18 or over and experiencing digital poverty.

These will work in unlocked or Vodafone SIM-enabled phones, tablets or MiFi devices, and we are particularly keen to help those who would like to use the data to access education, health services, employment and volunteering opportunities. If you, or someone you know would benefit from free data, please visit one of our Digital Cafés to find out more.

The Charities Connected initiative is open to any registered UK charity. If you would like to apply for free connectivity to help the people you support to get online, please click here.