Bridging The Digital Divide: How Tech Club has quickly become one of our most popular Clubs.

Tech Club Mc

This month we wanted to highlight one of our popular, monthly clubs. Neighbours have been getting together once a month to get more familiar with their electronic devices, and ask those burning technology questions.

Technology support is something that is always in high demand with older neighbours. According to research by the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration Greater Manchester, in January 2022, older adults are more likely to be digitally excluded than any other group. Although use of the internet is increasing, over a third of people aged 75+ have never used it, and only half of all adults aged 65+ have basic level skills. The Covid pandemic increased internet usage amongst older people, however increased use has largely come from those already using the internet.

In the past, we helped neighbours join our Virtual Clubs held over Zoom, we’ve pointed neighbours in the right direction to access Tech support locally, and we ran Tech clubs with law firm DWF in the city centre. 

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Photo: Throwback to, Social Clubs Coordinator, Heather supporting Anne & Roy to access Zoom during the lockdown.

Research also shows that support should concentrate on helping people do the things they want to do via technology, rather than on technology itself. And the most effective form of support is when it is delivered peer-to-peer. Recognising this, we’re now making Tech Club a regular feature of our monthly programme of Social Clubs.

Older neighbours bring their devices along and questions ranging from… ‘how do I set up an online shopping account?’, ‘how do I send pictures via Whatsapp?’, and ‘how do I order a new dress online?’

Our brilliant younger neighbours have helped older neighbours to do all of these things and more. From downloading Duolingo to practice a new language, to listening to music online, neighbours have been inspired to get more from their tech than they knew was possible.

Jim (79) even got advice from podcast producer Jess (30), on how to use an audio recorder to capture his life stories and memories for his relatives!

Yvonne Bryony Tech Club Mc

Regular attendee Yvonne (67) explained to us why she’s getting so much out of Tech Club. She said, “it’s brilliant I can ask these questions and learn how to do things for myself. In the past, my family have helped me do things on the computer but it means I never got to learn. I’ve learnt how to send an email and how to do online shopping. Bryony was great at showing me step by step". 

Photo: Yvonne (67) and Byrony (28) working together.

The help goes both ways too. Jess (30) said she’d learnt new things from Elaine (78)who showed her how to use a Windows Computer.

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We would also like to say a massive thankyou to Broadside for hosting us in their comfy space! 

To book on to August’s Tech Club phone us on 0161 207 0800 or email [email protected]Spaces are limited, you must book ahead.

Naomi Weaver

Posted by Naomi Weaver on Thursday 28th July 2022

Programmes Coordinator