We use cookies to give you the best experience. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our policy. Read more about how we use cookies and find out how you can change your browser’s cookie settings.
Skip to content

10-week digital transformation

Picture of Betty, Phil Preston (Age UK volunteer) and Mike at the Ewyas Harold computer course

Published on 13 May 2022 12:43 PM

A combination of friendly one to one support and attending a local community computer support course in Eywas Harold has made a huge difference to the daily lives of Betty and Mike. This was achieved thanks to the Digital Inclusion project run by Age UK partners Herefordshire & Worcestershire and Hereford & Localities and funded by Herefordshire County Council.

Like many couples in their 70’s, Betty and Mike didn’t have a computer or any internet access at home. They came along to their community centre to try the free computer course because their daughter had bought them a digital photo frame for Christmas, and they didn’t know how to add new photos of their own into it. Betty fancied being able to do online shopping and Mike had realised that his annual tax return would soon have to be done online. They had enjoyed holidays to Tenerife and wanted to be able to access their covid QR code to be able to go abroad in the future. In other words, they were feeling a little left behind by not being able to access online services but were nervous of starting the journey alone.

Alison Fletcher from Age UK Herefordshire & Worcestershire supported them at home via telephone calls, helping them chose an internet provider and get Wi-Fi up and running in their home. They then talked about which digital devices they should use. “Betty borrowed one of our Age UK Chromebooks and liked it so much she later bought her own” said Alison.  “Mike opted for a smart phone, and we gave him a stylus to use as he was struggling with the touch screen and found this a great help.” Having chosen their devices, I was able to help them set up an email account each.

Betty and Mike then came along to the 6-week course at Ewyas Harold and found it a great help to learn about connecting to Wi-Fi, safety and security tips for passwords, emailing, online shopping, video calling and online banking. Both said they loved the free “how to” handouts which were very useful when practising at home. They bought Phil Preston, one of our Age UK local volunteers helping at the course, a big box of chocolates to say thank you for all his support.

Mike has now installed WhatsApp on his phone and loves getting photos from the family of their grandchildren and Betty has started buying the comfortable shoes she can only find online. “Without the help and support of Age UK Herefordshire & Worcestershire, we wouldn’t have been able to manage all of this” says a grateful Mike.

If you know someone in Herefordshire who, like Mike and Betty, would love to be able to access digital services for themselves, please get in touch with us on 0800 008 6077 or email referralhub@ageukhw.org.uk.