The Great Cycle Challenge (and some digital support)

As part of the work the Positive People Project is doing with Westward Housing Association and their customers we have been providing digital support and training on a 1:1 basis to Virginia in Torquay. Helping her develop her digital skills and improving her daily life with the use of various apps and software through our sessions.

I first met Virginia at one of our launch events in Torquay back in February of this year.  The launch event was an expo style event to showcase some of the support on offer to Westward customers in a fun and relaxing environment.  We had several gadgets on offer for residents to interactive with and with Virginia’s flair for music (she plays the saxophone) the air drums were of particular interest.  We also helped get her iPhone calendar connected to her Amazon Alexa at home.  Virginia has Multiple Sclerosis which affects her movement and she makes use of various digital and specialist equipment to help her with chores and access around the home.

Over the last couple of months, we’ve been working together in 1:2:1 training sessions. Initially assessing what things Virginia would like to cover, we’ve looked at word training, apps for saxophone practice, the cloud and sharing documents and pictures, social media, and several other topics.  The saxophone app was of particular interest as it could listen and assess different aspects of Virginia’s playing to give her feedback and a score on tempo, pitch and so on.  The app also kept track of progress.

One area we are both experts on now is connecting an iPhone calendar to amazon Alexa.  For some reason Virginia’s Alexa assistant has a mind of its own and likes to keep us on our toes by disconnecting from the calendar from time to time.  Who says computers don’t have a sense of humour?

Most recently Virginia has been raising funds for a group trip to Lourdes, France that she would like to attend by challenging herself to a virtual cycling challenge.  In her own words “Since I have Multiple Sclerosis, going on holiday is very complicated for me. The charity offering me this fantastic opportunity will provide the daily care that I need.”

The challenge Virginia has set is to cycle the distance between her home and Lourdes in France on her own exercise bike at home within 100 days.  That’s over 700 miles.  That’s a third of the tour de France!  In working with Virginia at our sessions we’ve promoted this challenge via Facebook and just giving page where regular updates are posted.  We’ve also sent details and the link to donate to all her friends, family and contacts using Facebook messenger, email, and text message whilst incorporating the cloud stored photos she’s taken during her challenge and incorporating all things digital whenever possible.  At the last time we spoke Virginia had already raised over £250 and was well over half way to Lourdes.  We wish Virginia all the best and really hope she can complete her challenge and achieve her target figure to experience a life changing trip.

If you’d like to check in on her progress and make a donation please visit. https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/virginia-williams.