Conifer Close goes digital

by The Gateshead Housing Company & filed under News, Sheltered accommodation.

Residents of Conifer Close are now tech-savvy, thanks to our new intergenerational course.

Digital Voice for Communities, a social enterprise in Chopwell, ran the project. It lasted six weeks and aimed to teach digital skills to our older residents.

In week one, we paired each resident with a teacher – a Year 6 pupil from Parkhead Primary School.

In the weeks that followed, our pairs navigated the online world. They used apps to edit photographs and get directions, and visited entertainment sites like YouTube and BBC iPlayer.

Intergenerational work benefits people of all ages. It helps to combat social isolation and can improve wellbeing.

This is our first intergenerational course using technology. The idea came from our Older Persons Service Improvement Group, who saw the benefits of a digital skills course taught by young people.

Although the project focused on learning digital skills, both our older and younger friends achieved much more than that.

Involvement and Diversity Lead Helen Watson said: “It was heart-warming to see confidence and friendships grow each week.

“This course is a great example of how customer involvement can lead to successful community initiatives.”

Elizabeth Thompson, Sheltered Scheme Officer at Conifer Close said: “I’m glad I could support residents to get involved in this project.

“It was great to watch them interact with our younger friends – they all gained so much from each other.

“The course has inspired our residents and they now feel empowered to go digital.”

Our older and younger friends have shared their thoughts on the course in a video, made by Digital Voice – watch it on our YouTube channel.

To find out more, email Helen Watson or call 0191 433 5376.

Photo: Residents and pupils on the last day of their course.