Getting residents online in Basingstoke

Residents at Magnolia Court in Basingstoke are now able to get regular help to get online and use their laptops and tablets, thanks to two local volunteer Digital Champions.

Steven (pictured, far left) and Phil, now offer residents free drop-in sessions every other Tuesday, within the comfort of their own communal lounge and computer room. They have been helping the residents with a wide range of things from getting to grips with their tablets, to using Excel and making their devices more accessible. 

Mike, Clarion Futures Digital Inclusion Officer, is on the right. He supports Digital Champions to help residents to get online and stay connected.

Of his experience so far Steven says:

“I'm impressed by the facilities there, and also by the management commitment to getting the residents on-line. The residents have a wide range of computer skills from the very scared to the very competent, but all are very enthusiastic.  The main challenge is to encourage them to learn more and to see what the digital world can bring to their lives, especially as some are restricted in movement and cannot get out easily."

All Digital Champions are given training as part of Clarion’s Digital Champion Network, Digital Champion Phil, an experienced trainer and computer programmer, has really enjoyed the training offered. He has completed five courses including one specifically aimed at helping older people get online, which is perfect for his role at Magnolia Court. Phil says “The Digital Champions Network is really easy to use, it is written in extremely clear language. Although I have experience in training, you can never know everything. Learning is a continuous process.”

The Digital Champions are supported by the LiveSmart Manager Kay Elliott who has been so impressed so far by their work, she says “It is great to have the volunteers come into Magnolia Court twice a month and it has made a great difference to the residents they are helping”. 

Ann Roberts resident at Magnolia Court (pictured centre) says she is delighted with what she has learned since the Digital Champions started. Before they came she could only play games on her iPad, she can now use Facebook and is confident in looking up information.

Clarion now has over 180 Digital Champions across the country who offer their support to help residents to use computers, and make the most of the internet. To find out more about digital support in your area, or how to sign up to become a Digital Champion contact