A housing association is helping its residents get clued up on the internet.
AmicusHorizon runs its Get Connected project and one resident it has been working with is 74-year-old grandmother Jackie Rose, of Torfield Close.
Jackie contacted AmicusHorizon after seeing the Get Connected project advertised in a resident newsletter.
Since last June Nathalie Harris, the housing association’s digital inclusion coordinator, has been working with Jackie to develop her digital skills. Jackie has learned how to set up an email account, use Facebook, FaceTime and Skype, as well as shop and bank online and is now enrolling to become an AmicusHorizon ‘Digital Champion’, helping others in her scheme to use the internet and developing their computer skills.
She said: “This training has taught me so much. I’ve learned how to keep in touch with my children and grandchildren living in America via Facebook. And through the magic of Skype I can bring them into my living room without even leaving my chair!”
Nathalie said: “At AmicusHorizon we’re committed to helping all residents’ gain the skills they need to get, and stay, online. Our Get Connected project provides residents of all ages and backgrounds with the opportunity to take advantage of the many benefits the internet has to offer.
“Research from the National Housing Federation shows ‘offline’ households are missing out on estimated savings of £560 year from shopping and paying bills online. Technology is changing the way society works, the need to be digitally included is fast becoming a necessity. As a large housing provider, we’ve an important role to play in bridging the digital divide for customers. We see digital inclusion as a key issue for our residents and want to work with them to unlock their potential.”
To find out more about how AmicusHorizon can help to access online services, use email and connect with family and friends, call Nathalie on 0800 121 6060 or go to www.amicushorizon.org.uk/getconnected.
Nathalie is also looking for volunteers who’d be happy to share their computer skills with others and become ‘digital champions’.