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Denbighshire support reaffirms digital inclusion for older people

We’ve received stories of two people who have been helped by an organisation that has received support from Digital Communities Wales.

In this case, it’s North Denbighshire Communities First (NDCF).

A 78 year old woman recently started attending the NDCF digital inclusion sessions to learn how to use social networking to look for friends and family. She had bought herself a laptop and sourced an internet provider, however had no idea how to use social media to search for friends. One of her main priorities was to set up a Facebook account and the trainers were able to support her to do that. Once her page had been set up, she was shown how she could search for friends and family. She was asked for a name of someone she would like to search for and she gave her daughter’s name. She was shown how she could make a search and how she could narrow it down so that she could identify her daughter easily. Once she had found her daughter, she said that she hadn’t spoken to her in ten years and had not seen her in fifteen. She then asked to show her how she could send her a message which she then proceeded to do. The following week the lady came back to the session and said her daughter had responded to her initial message and that she was happy that she had got in touch. They have since spoken at length on the phone on a number of occasions. The lady said that in the few weeks she had been attending she had learnt so much, and the sessions were excellent in every way, as it was easy to learn in the relaxed and informal environment.

An older gentleman who had recently lost his wife was another who started to attend the NDCF digital inclusion sessions, so that he could learn to access more services online. He had informed the trainers that following the support he’d received in the sessions, he had contacted his electricity supplier via email to sort out his monthly fuel payments. Before she passed away, his wife had been housebound due to her illness and this had led to them paying extremely large electricity bills which he had continued to pay following her death. Once he had been shown how to use emails he contacted his electricity supplier and, as a result, received a refund of £124.00 and reduced his monthly direct debit payments. He said that being able to communicate via email was much easier than doing it by phone and it had also saved him from accruing an increased phone bill. He also applied for a Warm Home Discount online and it was done in five minutes flat.

He said the support offered by NDCF has given him the confidence to do much more online, as before he would have avoided using this method and he feels it has broadened his horizons.

If you work with people in a similar situation, contact us to see how we can help you.