The Digital Age Project has been re-launched after the closure of the Workers’ Educational Association NI last year. The formation of a new partnership has allowed the project to continue. The new partnership, funded by the Big Lottery Fund, is led by Linking Generations Northern Ireland, a part of the UK wide Beth Johnson foundation. NIFHA is delighted to be one of the partners who will be involved in this programme.
What is the Digital Age Project?
The Digital Age Project is all about digital inclusion. It aims to bring IT into sheltered housing schemes across Northern Ireland in order to promote education, reduce isolation, and improve the quality of older people’s lives.
The project offers free 10 week IT courses where the laptops and tablets are provided. The aim is to have informal classes that are tailored to the experiences and interests of the group. The project will then donate a laptop to the scheme to allow the residents to continue their learning.
There is also the option to link up with a local school or youth group. The children come into the scheme and help residents in the development of their IT skills. This provides an opportunity to promote community work among younger people and for cross generational friendships to develop.
The project has received Lottery funding for two years. It has been officially up and running from 4th November 2014 but was re-launched in February 2015. Along with NIFHA a range of organisations are involved in the scheme. They include: Zenith IT Solutions, National Institute of Adult Continuing Education and Go On NI. Ignite IT will be the organisation who provide the ten week courses.
What can residents learn from the programme?
The aim of the project is to empower older people with the knowledge and skills to go-online. This can allow them to live more independently, to stay connected with their families and to make use of the convenience the digital world offers. Resident can learn to:
- Access information
- Pursue hobbies and interests
- Keep in touch with family, friends and wider community by using email, Skype, Facebook and Twitter.
- Save money by making best use of finances
Testimony from participants:
“Taking part in this project has helped my ego! There’s good camaraderie and it will help me keep up with my grandchildren!”
“I have learned how to listen and to talk to young people. Being in the company of a new generation is fun and it supported my learning experience.”
“I can now copy and send photos, do research, book holidays and find out information.”
For any other information contact our Communications Officer Danny Lorimer: 02890897695 firstname.lastname@example.org