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Work, learning and volunteering

In this section you will find services that can help you learn new skills, help to find employment and where you can access free computers and the support you need to use them.

Services can be searched in the categories to the right and information and advice is listed below. 

Information and advice

Digital Inclusion

Digital inclusion is about having the right access, skills, motivation and trust to go online confidently.  It is broken down into 3 main areas;

1. Digital skills - being able to use computers and the internet.
2. Connectivity - having access to computers and the internet.
3. Accessibility - meeting the needs of the users, ensuring the information is accessible.

There are many benefits for being digitally included, some include;

  • staying connected with family and friends
  • having more control over your health and wellbeing
  • accessing training sites and job opportunities
  • a wider choice of products at lower prices 

If you would like to find out more about how to be digitally included, please click on the Digital Sunderland link to the right of the page.

Employment support

Finding and applying for jobs can be hard but if you had the skills to search and apply online it can make the process easier and offer more opportunities. 

To learn more please click on the link finding a job online this training is provided free on the Learn My Way website.  Or you can click on the link Employment support to the right of the page and access a list of local support providers.

Online support
If you struggle with filling in online forms, banking, Universal Credit and health appointments, our Sunderland Libraries Services are working in partnership with Sunderland Social Inclusion and Dyslexia Project (SID) to make the Council IT facilities more accessible by installing Google Chrome. 

There are public access computers at the following venues which are listed under the Access to computers category:

  • City Library & CSN, Fawcett Street
  • Washington Town Centre Library
  • Houghton Library
  • Washington Millennium Centre
  • Hetton Centre
  • Kayll Road

Local courses and training

There are a variety of courses available in Sunderland to help develop your skills.  Please click on the Local courses and training link to the right of the page to access a list of providers.

There are also a number of online training wesbites that contain a range of online courses, tools, and games that will help develop your digital skills:

Learn My Way – is a free online website offering a variety of courses designed to help you develop digital skills and make the most of the online world through informal and formal learning.  Click on the link Learn My Way to register so you can start learning straight away!

Family, Adult Community Learning - offers a range of high quality courses, delivered in the heart of local communities at times to suit your needs.  They aim to make learning accessible and many courses are offered free of charge or at subsidised rates.  Click on the link Family, Adult Community Learning to find courses you are interested in.

Sunderland Social Inclusion and Dyslexia Project (SID)
Sunderland Libraries Service is working in partnership with Sunderland Social Inclusion and Dyslexia Project to make the Council IT facilities more accessible. 

They have installed Google Chrome on all Council Public Access computers to help if you struggle with filling online forms, banking, health appointments and Universal Credit. 

If you are a member of the library you can set up a personalised account with preferences tailored to your individual needs.  When your account has been set up you will then be able, using headphones, to have the screen content read to you as well as being able to dictate text. 

WiFi Locations

There is free wifi in Sunderland public libraries and Customer service centres.  For details on the locations and how to access them can be found on the Council’s wifi, internet and public access web page.

BT provide information about where to find Wi-Fi hotspots in Sunderland and how to login.  These hotspots are free for existing BT broadband customers, however there are pay as you go options, further details can be found on the BT Wi-Fi website.


If you like helping others you may be interested in volunteering.  Whether it's in a club or at an event taking place in Sunderland, it's a great opportunity to gain experience and be part of a team.

Age UK Sunderland are looking for volunteers for their Keeping in Touch service -
his service offers companionship and support to older people across the City, view this video about Betty to see how volunteering really makes a difference to people's lives.  

The Friendly Faces home visiting service provides volunteers who make regular social visits, offering company and a friendly chat to older people who live alone, are housebound and have days when they see no one.  For those who prefer to chat without someone in their home, their Telephone Service offers a regular call to look forward to, building friendships and helping to alleviate loneliness.

If you would like to become a befriending volunteer and can spare an hour or two each week, Age UK Sunderland would love to hear from you, please contact us on 0191 514 8324 or 0191 5141131 or email:

For other services who are looking for volunteers, please click on the Volunteering link to the right of the page.  Further details can also be found on the Council’s Volunteering web page. 

Staying Safe Online

It is important to remain vigilant and safe whilst online but it is also important to know how to protect yourself, your family and mobile devices.

Details about accessing free practical advice on how to stay safe online can be found on the Get Safe Online website.

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