Digital support for older people

Published: Wednesday 30th January 19

Digipals, which helps older people cope with new technology, is running a series of drop-in sessions around the borough this year.

The service is run by Age UK Wandsworth, with funding from the council’s Wandsworth Grant Fund.

Digipals is a volunteer-run service which offers drop-in sessions in local libraries across the borough. The digipals can offer friendly support on a variety of different subjects such as setting up and using email, using the internet to search for information and using social media.

Emma Chisholm from Age UK Wandsworth said: “With so much of modern life moving on-line, digital isolation is a huge problem amongst older people. Two thirds of people over 65 do not regularly use the internet and it can be an area where many older people lack confidence or even experience fear.

“These support sessions can also help older people to access relevant information, services and entitlements online and also help them to connect with family and friends. The sessions are drop-in so there is no need to book and people can come once for help on something specific, or come every week and follow a course.  Attendees can use the library computers or bring their own laptop, tablet or smartphone.”

Chairman of the council’s grants committee Cllr Melanie Hampton said: “We were delighted to award a grant to Digipals in the ninth round of the Wandsworth Grant Fund last November, because we recognise that it is an effective way to prevent digital isolation and help older people get online. The sessions are friendly and informal, and I would encourage anyone intimidated by technology to go along.” 

Age UK Wandsworth is an independent, local charity working with and for older people in the borough of Wandsworth. For more information about Digipals, visit their website, or email emma.chisholm@ageukwandsworth.org.uk.

As the service is growing, Age UK Wandsworth is also looking for more volunteers to become digipals. There is no need to be an IT professional, just computer literate, friendly and supportive. For more information contact volunteering@ageukwandsworth.org.uk

The upcoming sessions are:

  • Feb 6, 10am-12pm Wandsworth Library
  • Feb 13,10am-12pm Southfields Library
  • Feb 20, 10am-12pm Roehampton Library
  • Feb 26,10am-12pm Tooting Library
  • March 6,10am-12pm Wandsworth Library
  • March 13, 10am-12pm Southfields Library
  • March 20,10am-12pm Roehampton Library
  • March 26,10am-12pm Tooting Library
  • April 3, 10am-2pm Wandsworth Library
  • April 10, 10am-2pm Southfields Library
  • April 23, 10am-2pm Roehampton Library
  • May 1, 10am-2pm Wandsworth Library
  • May 8, 10am-2pm, Southfields Library
  • May 15, 10am-2pm Roehampton Library
  • May 21, 10am-2pm tooting Library 

The Wandsworth Grant Fund supports a wide range of not-for-profit community activities. For more information and to find out how to apply, visit www.wandsworth.gov.uk/wgf or email wgf@wandsworth.gov.uk

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