Community First providing Digital Support
Community First met with Jean Malcolm, Volunteer Area Organiser for Contact the Elderly in Angus, to discuss how they could support the good works which are being undertaken by the organisation in their local community and how we could help.
Contact the Elderly tackles social isolation and loneliness for those who are over 75 and live alone.
Jean felt that by being supported with digital skills training, key members of Contact the Elderly in Angus would be better equipped to increase awareness of the organisation as well as further develop lines of communication between the volunteers and members.
A training plan was developed which included a mix of interactive, hands-on digital work, group discussions and peer support training. A social media platform was identified as crucial to communicating with other volunteers and potential hosts and a central account was created. We supported the volunteers and provided them with the skills required to create, interact and maintain the central account which in turn, Jean reported that, after a surprisingly short period of time, not only were the local groups growing in numbers, the volunteers, hosts and driver numbers increased too. As well as improving their own technical skills, the training provided the opportunity for the learners to share their newly acquired skills with their peers and other members who were unfamiliar with digital technology and the benefits it could have particularly for those who suffer from social isolation and digital exclusion. As a direct result of this, three further localised groups were developed such was the popularity and need.
We provided follow up training and online support and continue to support Jean as and when required.
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