Need a laptop?

Want to get on-line but need help getting started?


  • laptop with software loaded, ready to start
  • basic support to set up and get started
  • On-going advice and training through our Learn My Way Centre
  • Grant towards purchase of your own device once your loan period comes to an end

Conditions apply, and availability is limited, so get in touch early to know more




You can still contact us by email - advice@swlican.org

Or Telephone 01695 726269 and we will get back to you as soon as we can (within a couple of days)

Thank you and stay safe

The ICAN Team




ICAN are hosting an event for this year's Get Online Week and are here to help you get more out of your internet.  

Getting the most out of the internet doesn’t have to be scary. It’s #GetOnlineWeek and thousands of events are here to help you get started - for free! You could manage your money online, find a new job or brush up on a skill.

Get Online Week is the UK’s biggest digital inclusion campaign - mobilising grassroots organisations to reach more people with digital skills support, and raising the profile of digital exclusion as an issue of national importance.

The internet has the power to increase employability, reduce isolation and improve health and wellbeing, as well as to help people save money and connect them to the things they love - but too many people are still missing out. Over 11.9 million people in the UK lack the essential digital skills, and 4.1 million people are offline. 7.1 million people cannot open an app and 6 million people cannot even turn a computer on 1 .

Get Online Week will give these people the opportunity to get more out of life online. Hundreds of community venues will hold local events where people can get free and friendly face-to-face support. Good Things Foundation - the charity behind Get Online Week - is also working with key supporters across the public, commercial and voluntary sectors to raise the profile of digital inclusion as an issue of national importance.

We’re so excited to be supporting Get Online Week. Everyone deserves the chance to access all the benefits that the internet can offer. We’re proud to be part of a campaign that mobilises grassroots activity and leads an essential national conversation.

Contact us today it@swlican.org to get started! 





We would like to say a great big thank you to all those people and organisations that have supported us over the last 40 years, we couldn’t have done it without you. Here’s to another 40!

Our History

While Newcastle TUC may have set up the first ‘Centre against Unemployment’ in the late 1970s, West Lancashire TUC’s Unemployed Resource Centre was the next in line as one of the national network of TUC Unemployed Centre’s supported by the Trades Union Congress. Established in Skelmersdale in 1980 by local TUC and Community Activists including Arthur Adlen, Les Mawdsley and Terry Maxwell it is still going strong 40 years later. Its name may have changed but the core values of supporting the community at times of its greatest need is as relevant today as it was in the late 70’s and early eighties.

The TUC Unemployed Workers' Centre’s were a response by the trade union movement to the growing level of unemployment in the late 1970s. The reasons why the Centre’s were set up have not gone away. The fight for full employment, against poverty and for social justice is as important today as it was in the 1980s. In August 2020, leaders of the TUC, Unite, Unison, GMB and Usdaw warned that the UK is staring at its biggest economic crisis for generations

The Skelmersdale centre, now called ‘South West Lancashire Independent Community Advice Network’ or SWLICAN provides free, quality, Independent advice and support on Employment Law, Welfare Rights and Money Advice as well as training and support in basic and advanced IT, as well as providing CV writing assistance, job search and much more.  It is still recognised by the Trades Union Congress as one of the few remaining such Centre’s left in the Country.

In recent years the Centre morphed itself in to a registered Charity this has helped them get funding from the National Lottery and other funders as well as receiving support from Lancashire Association of Trades Councils and Trade Union Branches across Lancashire and Cumbria. They now provide support in the community to Trade Union members, the disabled, Unemployed, elderly and those on low income as well as many others. January to December 2019 they recovered in £1.8million in benefits for clients during 2019, this was against a backdrop of local advice services closures which meant there had been a 70% increase in its work.

We work alongside most of the key support providers across West Lancashire including the Local  NHS, West Lanc’s Borough Council and Local Mental Health Teams forging partnerships to ensure the most vulnerable people in our community get the help and support they need and deserve and we will continue to do this for as long as we possibly can.

Throughout the Covid-19 Crisis our work never stopped and we found ways to work from home and continued to support clients and organisations via phone, text, e-mail, direct messaging and zoom. We will meet head on all the challenges put in front of us, we have had many of them over the last 40 years, but helping people and seeing families being lifted out of poverty is its own reward.

Paul McConnell. Chair


Thursdays and Fridays are GET ONLINE days

Would you or someone you know like to know how to get online more, how to connect with family and friends, or to learn a new skill? 

Ian at ICAN is available on a Thursday and Friday to help you get online.  Ian can talk you through how to get more out of your tablet, or how to use WhatsApp.  There are also 30 courses as part of the Learn My Way facility.  You could brush up your CV, learn efficient job seeking skills, help yourself with the money management courses, or just learn how to use your phone’s camera better.  Ian can help you to do all this, via telephone, or can teach you on a Zoom or WhatsApp chat face-to-face but over the phone. 

To learn more, please contact Ian on 01695 726269 and he’ll set up an appointment to get you started.


Alan Lewis, M.B.E. sadly passes away

It is with deep sorrow we have to let you know that we have been informed of the passing away of Alan Lewis MBE.

Alan was a key member of our Management Committee for many years and was a keen advocate of all the work we do. Taking great pride in supporting a small local Charity that helped and supported the most vulnerable in our Communities across West Lancashire. His passion and energy about our work will be missed.

He was also heavily involved with the Skelmersdale Veterans Association leading them to great work on Poppy Appeals, remembrance events etc., but also supporting Veterans on a range of personal health and well-being issues..

He was at his most energetic during his 20 years plus of his youth work, starting up Skelmersdale Action for Youth and helping hundreds if not thousands of local Children on a whole range of activities during that time. This culminated in one of his proudest moments in his life, receiving his MBE at Buckingham Palace. Never has someone been more deserving of this title as Alan, he was humble, honest and selflessly dedicated to the people of West Lancashire.

We will all miss him dearly; he will leave a hole in our hearts that will never be filled.

"Good night and God Bless Dear Friend, You will Never Be Forgotten"

Paul McConnell, Chair

For and behalf of the Staff, Volunteers and Committee Members


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