Give an Hour- Meet Digital Champions

October 24, 2011 at 12:52 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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give an hourLast week I blogged about ‘Give an Hour’ the scheme which is encouraging people to share their computer skills and in turn help someone else get online.

Making the most out of the hour which we gain when the clocks go back this weekend I think the scheme is a brilliant way to get more people online and make the most out of our free time.

I caught a segment on BBC Breakfast this morning as report Richard Westcott visited George Higgs who is a Digital Champion at the aged of 104. George, who uses the internet to keep in touch with family and online shopping, is helping his partner Stella aged 87 to use the internet.

George and Stella


The segment was wonderful as watching George and Stella spend their ‘Give an Hour’  hour looking at cruise holidays showed that you don’t have to be a computer whiz to be a Digital Champion. You simply need some basic skills which you can pass on.

Along with George others are encouraging loved one to get online- including some famous faces. In a fantastic video Stephen Fry explains the brilliance of the internet and why he thinks Give an Hour is a fantastic scheme which we should all take part in.

I’m really excited to hear more positive stories much like George and Stella’s. To watch more videos and for further information about Give an Hour visit the BBC’s Give an Hour page.

GO ON Give an Hour

October 18, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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go on give an hourSetting up my blog a year ago I wanted to inspire other people to get online by showing them how easy the internet is once you know the basics.

Within the last year I’ve kept abreast of campaigns which encourage people to get online as I understand the importance of being digital. Only last week I blogged about Age UK who are currently searching for their 2012 Internet Champion– a great feat for an individual who has gained a lot by simply using the internet.

Elsewhere the UK’s Digital Champion Martha Lane Fox, who has worked tirelessly to get people online, has introduced a brilliant incentive encouraging people to offer their help to friends and family.

give an hour 1

‘Give an Hour’ intends to turn ordinary people (who are able to use the internet) into Digital Champions, which sounds incredibly grand but is in fact brilliantly easy. The scheme is pretty much self-explanatory as Martha and her team are simply asking you to donate an hour of your time and in doing so helping someone into the digital world.

You’re possibly thinking ‘where am I going to find an hour of free time?’  So here comes the clever twist. On 30th October the clocks go back an hour, meaning that we all gain one hour for free. Give an Hour wants everyone to do something productive with their free hour by helping someone get online- using the time whenever is convenient for you.

I personally think that it’s an incredible idea as we don’t have the excuse of not having time or being too busy. One hour is the perfect amount of time to go through the basics and everyone is a winner- you become a Digital Champion and your loved one learns new and increasingly vital skills.

give an hour 2

On the Go-On Give an Hour website the team have created all sorts of ways to get people inspired but most importantly a ‘Digital champion pack’, which is free to download and includes everything you’ll need to transfer your skills to someone else. Including booklets for beginners, certificates and a mythbuster for anyone who isn’t convinced they’ll get anything from the internet.

It really is a wonderful idea one which I am certain will be a success. Here at Bath-Knight I’ll be encouraging the team to donate an hour of their time and hopefully be transferring my own skills to a friend in need.


Age UK searching for Internet Champion 2012

October 12, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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Did you know that here in the UK 5.7 million over 65’s have never been on the internet? That sadly means that an awful lot of older people are missing out on the benefits that the internet offers.

Age-UK-Logo-WebCampaigners and internet advocates (including me) highlights these fantastic benefits because they really are tremendous; staying in touch with loved one, finding new hobbies, banking, paying bills, and finding bargains by shopping around online are all incredibly easy and instantly available via the web.

Though some over 65’s are apprehensive to try something new, others can’t wait to take on a new adventure and the internet is just that- a digital adventure which can take you to lots of new and exciting places.

So it’s great to see Age UK are once again acknowledging those people who have taken on the challenge of becoming internet savvy by searching for ‘Internet Champion 2012’; two people who have gained a lot from simply using the internet.

age uk the internet changed my life

This year the Age UK team are looking for people whose life has changed since getting online. They want you to share your personal stories about getting online including the ups and downs which you’ve encountered along the way. Explain the pleasure of the new skills you’ve learnt and how you would inspire others to get online (if you’re not doing so already).

Last year’s Internet Champions went down a storm, and since been crowned they’ve shared their victory with lots of internet users at various events throughout the year. By sharing their hints and tips they’ve helped others make the leap online.

age UK internet champions 2011

Personally I think it’s incredible to hear of how the internet has created positivity in people’s lives. As I understand how much of a lifeline the internet truly is. By using my blog alone I get to connect with people who I wouldn’t have before, along with being able to share my thoughts and opinions. It’s just one fantastic element of the online world which anyone can explore.

So if you know, or you are a King or Queen of the internet, then what are you waiting for? Age UK want to hear from you. Tell them how the internet has changed your life and you could potentially be Age UK’s Internet Champion 2012.

Apply online at Age

itea and biscuits week 2011 with Age UK

September 19, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Discovering the digital world is an exciting journey, regardless of age or agenda. For example I use my website and blog to showcase both my professional and personal thoughts. For me the internet is a wonderful arena to stay connected.

However, the problem most people face is getting started. I know that lots of people want to be a computer whiz but are too worried that they might get it wrong to even start. Thankfully, this week Age UK is hosting itea and biscuit events up and down the country to get more people online and digital.

The events, which are free, are taking place in local schools, libraries, community centres and village halls and ran with new comers in mind. Offering the opportunity to get to grips with the internet, mobile phones and even digital cameras so that you can capture your favourite moments and send them on to family and friends.  

itea and biscuit

The idea behind itea and biscuit is basic but brilliant; making friends, socialising and becoming a little savvier with technology over a nice cup of tea. So if you’re thinking about creating a Facebook profile but worried that you might not have any friends online, get in touch with those in your itea and biscuit session so that you can learn together. It makes getting involved in the digital world easy and a whole lot more fun.

Remember that itea and biscuit session are for beginners so don’t feel nervous or intimidated. Go along with an open mind, willing to learn something new and you’ll be truly amazes by what you can achieve.

For more information about itea and biscuit session click here and to find an event in your local area click here.

Avoiding isolation in the elderly years

August 4, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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lonely ladyI read about the health of elderly people frequently and always come across the same problem, isolation. That terrible feeling of loneliness, abandonment and seclusion which rarely seems to fade.

The problem is becoming increasingly highlighted with the quality of social care been constantly questioned. The simple fact is that isolation needs addressing as the effects of little social interaction with vulnerable and elderly people are shocking.

This was made clear when Friends of the Elderly recently carried out a week long experiment ‘Isolation Week’. Working with a group of socially active ‘young’ people (ranging from 20’s to 50’s) each participant was to live alone without any contact from friends or family. Instead television became their companion, with the occasional allowance of using the internet, however not for social networking purposes- Changing their lifestyle for that of an elderly isolated person.

I was astonished with how quickly living in isolation started to change the mind set of those involved. Depression became the most prominent problem as many quickly became miserable and unable to perk themselves up, which sounds far too familiar.

Rather than glumly look at the negatives, which of course needed addressing. I’ve started to keep a keen eye on ways that elderly people can avoid living in isolation.

old ladies

A previous blog included the fantastic services of Southwark Circle, a social care organisation operating in London. The scheme is brilliant and work on socially improving the lives of elderly people in the community. I think that this style of social care is extremely refreshing and one which could see success elsewhere.

I recently read about a singing group in south Wales cheekily titled the ‘Golden Oldies’, who offer their services to elderly people who get joy from singing great pop music. The group holds weekly sessions which get people together for a good sing song and has a simple aim of giving elderly people something to look forward too.

The weekly session system seems a good route for the elderly to go down. Whether that is a singing group, a knitting group or light exercise class for the elderly (there are plenty out there- search online with your local council). As these sessions are great places go and make friends as well as providing a little routine to day to day life.

golden olides

Of course, recent news that many local authorities will soon be cutting funds to bus routes, which are used predominantly by the elderly, will have a big impact. Such news is devastating and frustrating. However, getting online could be the answer. If you can’t get to your friends why not Skype them or become friends on Facebook. Send each other Tweets about what you’re currently reading or when you’re next going to play bowls. Online options are endless and with so much help available it really is a realistic away to avoid feeling isolated.

Of course nothing compares to living in a family home with loved ones but these options can help make life much happier and ease loneliness whilst getting older.

The technologies which are getting elderly people online quick!

July 18, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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I’ve come across a really interesting article on The Guardian online, which displays some wonderful statistics regarding how mature people are getting online and becoming more favourable with technology.

The information taken from AARP – The American Association of Retired People focuses directly on mature people’s involvement in the digital age. I’m sure elderly focused organisation and charities, along with the UK’s Digital Champion Martha Lane Fox will agree that these figures are fantastic and a real pleasure to read.

baby boomers on the internet

The facts to prove technology isn’t as alien to elderly people as some might think-

  • Over-65s are joining Facebook faster than any other age group’
  • ‘The fastest-growing demographic on the dating site is the over-50s’
  • ‘60% of baby boomers in the US (almost 47 million people) are consumers of social media including blogs, forums, podcasts and online videos’

The article, which focused primarily around care and housing provider ‘Housing 21’,  features fantastic tales of elderly people using online sources such as Facebook, Google maps, Google search and voice recognition to revitalise their lives or relive the past.

Personally I feel really impressed and inspired to know that elderly people are willing to try something new like the internet or social media. It’s great feeling to think that more of my customer base is trying to get online and connected.

Overall these statistics come as a huge relief for many who are trying to encourage their elderly friends and relatives to get online. Providing proof that technology is something to be welcomed rather than ignored.

AARP video- packed with facts and figures about baby boomers online!

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