Merched Y Wawr keeps its members connected
Merched Y Wawr is a voluntary, non-political organisation for women in Wales where all activities are conducted in the medium of Welsh. Prior to the Covid-19 lockdown, most activities were in-person, but the restrictions put a stop to all that. Worried about the impact this would have on its members, the organisation stepped up to help them gain the digital skills to create a vibrant and supportive online network.
Merched y Wawr organisers across Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire contacted Digital Communities Wales for support. The programme loaned them digital devices and provided training and support to some of the members so that they could not only use the devices and the internet confidently themselves, but also become digital volunteers and help other members.
As a result, many members, some in their 90s, were able to use digital devices for the first time. One member says, “I never dreamt it could be so much fun, so useful and not that difficult once you know how.”
One of the Merched Y Wawr digital volunteers says, “During the last year, introducing technology to other members has been so rewarding. I often hear comments such as, ‘Thank you so much, I have just seen my grandchildren for the first time in months. I look forward to seeing them now regularly and that makes me able to cope so much easier with this lockdown.’ Many have said that introducing technology into their lives has helped them cope with this strange and difficult time.”
Loneliness has been a major factor for many of the members during the Covid-19 lockdown, so being able to join a group using Zoom or other online communications has been a lifeline. Thanks to the hard work of these amazing Merched y Wawr digital volunteers, women of all ages were able to stay in touch and feel less isolated during the pandemic.
I never dreamt it could be so much fun, so useful and not that difficult once you know how.
Merched Y Wawr member