Westward Housing – White Cross court digital workshops and drop in sessions

Over May and June, as part of the positive people project and collaboration with Westward Housing association, we have been working with a number of their residents at Whitecross court over 55’s assisted living scheme.  A managed communal block of flats in the town center of Plymouth.  As part of our commitment to increase understanding and use of all things digital, as well as one of our cross-cutting themes to improve communities, we have been delivering digital workshops on various topics every fortnight available for all residents within the scheme to attend.  We have already covered:

  • Internet Safety – where we talked about phishing and scam emails, identifying secure websites, social media posts, keeping devices up to date, passwords, and antivirus software and scans.
  • The Cloud – where we covered what it is and the benefits and negatives of using it, where your data is stored by showing a video behind the scenes of a data center, cloud computing and software, cloud storage and different providers packages.
  • Emails – What they are and how it works, brief history, benefits, client v webmail, different providers and their services.

With further sessions and topics to follow soon.  We now have a number of regulars who have attended every session and are keen to learn more and hope to get more residents attending as word spreads. At one of the workshops we ran an interactive digital quiz using Kahoot – a free online quiz tool that allows individuals and teams to answer multiple choice questions online using their digital devices. Points are awarded for the right answer and for the speed of the answer. Kahoot allows scores to be displayed in real time after every round of questions so participants can keep track of their position on the leader board.  Which helped make it a little more interesting and competitive and got residents using their device in a new and fun way.  They all found this enjoyable although some were handicapped by a slow device.

Each workshop is followed by a digital drop in session where residents can get help and support with any query they may have. A free service where individuals and groups can ask questions about specific topics. Some of the questions already received have been how to update their device, app permissions, notifications, how to install and log into a particular apps, opening Microsoft office files without office, replacing a laptop battery, and much much more.

We’ve received a lot of positive feedback from those attending with many of them thankful for the support and information.  I’ve even been asked if I can move in and live in the block full time!  They do have a lot of biscuits, so I had to think long and hard about this request.

We are also working closely with Westward housing to try and install WIFI in the communal lounge area.  At present residents can only get an internet connection in their flats.  The aim of this is to increase use of the communal area, raise community spirit, and build relationships and support between residents.  There are also plans to link together with other similar schemes across the county to compete in online games and challenges.   Watch this space!