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Helping retirement residents keep in touch with free tablets and online digital training

When Moat resident, Karen, became unwell and unable to leave the house, she was able to combat her loneliness with new-found digital skills and a free Lenovo tablet provided by Moat Foundation. The training sessions provide a personal experience based on residents needs, and gave both Karen and her neighbour Jean the skills to chat with each other, friends, and family via Zoom.

Moat Foundation, the community arm of housing association Moat, teamed up with We Are Digital, a national digital inclusion training agency, to provide fundamental support to over 55’s. They have successfully met aims to train and support 20 residents by March 2022, tackling isolation and giving confidence to those older customers who had never used a computer before.

Karen, who had never used a Lenovo tablet before and had minimal digital skills, said: “Using my new tablet to keep in touch with friends has been amazing while I’ve been unwell and housebound. My trainer was flexible and understanding, splitting my sessions up so I could go at my own pace. I definitely feel more independent being able to do more things online, and using Zoom to chat to my neighbour has definitely improved my wellbeing while being at home.”

The first phase of the project is now complete, with residents taking part in multiple training sessions to overcome any digital barriers and help with essential IT skills – including: video calling, using social media to stay connected, using online banking, filling in forms online, as well as accessing and using Moat’s online portal, MyMoat. They will now be looking to take on their next cohort of Moat Supported and Retirement Living customers - if this sounds like something you'd be interested in, be sure to let your Neighbourhood Services Manager know!

Moat Foundation Officer, Kay Oldroyd, said: “We’re so pleased we can equip our Supported and Retirement Living customers with new digital skills. It’s proven to have enriched their lives as well as family, friends and neighbours who they can share their skills with, reducing social isolation which has and continues to be a major concern amongst older people. We will continue to support our older customers through training opportunities and experiences.”