Many older people embraced technology during the coronavirus pandemic, to assist with things like socialising, shopping and renewing prescriptions. Age UK analysis has found that 2 million over-75s still don’t have the access or ability to use technology. Watch our video to learn how Digital Champions like Lloyd have helped people like Ray.
Ray, 82, has had a passion for art since he was 3. “Before the pandemic, I used to go to various art clubs,” explains Ray. “When the coronavirus came about, all that stopped. I was a fish out water.”
Ray had seen firsthand how beneficial technology can be. His wife enthusiastically used video conferencing software, chatting with friends up to 6 times a week. “I thought: ‘that looked interesting’,” says Ray, who was keen to meet other artists online.
Ray was in need of some digital confidence to help him get online. Thankfully, he was put in contact with Lloyd, who's a Digital Champion, providing encouragement and easy-to-follow instructions to help older people to use computers, smartphones and emails.
“Digital Champions give people the skills [and] the knowledge to enter a digital platform,” explains Lloyd. “The pandemic has isolated a lot of individuals. It has made the scared and impacted their physical, mental and social wellbeing, so they’ve desperately been looking for ways to connect.”
If at first you don't succeed...
“I employed a person-centred approach,” says Lloyd of his teaching style, which accommodated the memory problems Ray admits to having, resulting in him having to be given instructions several days in a row. “I tailored the programme to suit Ray’s needs.”
“Now I can have my art meetings virtually,” says a very happy Ray, whose advancement has impressed the equally happy Lloyd.
“Ray’s progress has been absolutely phenomenal. He’s been fantastic!”
“I cannot praise Lloyd enough for his patience,” says Ray of his teacher. “Everything to do with the internet is a lot easier for me now.”
The Think Digital programme recruits and trains Digital Champions like Lloyd to support older people like Ray to make the most of the digital world.
Many thanks to Age Cymru Gwent for their assistance with this video.