At the start of the year we were delighted to be involved in an innovative project in conjunction with Hartlepool Independent Living Centre associated with Hartlepool Borough Council. Project 65 was launched as a free service to support older people in Hartlepool aged 65 through a mobile device loan service which aimed to reduce social isolation.
We supported the project with the donation of 10 Wi-Fi hotspots and set about helping them reach their target of helping 100 people through the scheme by October 2017. Staff member Amy Tucker was appointed the local representative for the project and users we encouraged to book appointments with her throughout the week to get them set up on their loaned device and dongle.
Alongside this we also ran tech workshops giving scheme users the opportunity to learn a new skill on their device. Our most recent workshop explored how to use social media, demonstrating the benefits and walking users through how to set up a Facebook account. From the group, 6 people are now up and running on and are now able to communicate now with friends and family from near and far. Next week, the session will be delivered again to a local retirement village in Hartlepool, with a larger audience we hope to have more people jumping into the online world.
We have enjoyed working with the Independent Living Centre and look forward to further enhancing our partnership in October when the project is up for renewal.