Being empowered by the digital world

Enabling those furthest from the digital world to be empowered by it, is a powerful statement from Wavemaker, a digital and STEAM-engagement specialist from Stoke-on-Trent working with Realise to provide digital clinics.

In 2017, Realise charity began a partnership with Wavemaker and Aspire Housing that continues to this day to empower and teach people of all ages about technology and the digital world.

Working with Aspire Housing, older person to help people become more digitally confident and explore the potential of technology. With sessions running at a variety of Community Living schemes across Staffordshire, people up to 94 years old have learned how to use Google, shop online, set up smart speakers and even Skype their grandchildren.

The digital workshop sessions, run by Wavemaker, are funded by Realise charity.

Ben McManus, CEO of Wavemaker says: “Realise charity has allowed us to deliver digital clinics to Aspire Housing customers which provides a great opportunity for residents to learn and get the most out of the technology they have”.

Over the past year, more than 200 people have taken part and had the opportunity to learn about how technology can help them in their day to day lives.

Resident, Bill, 84, from Mill Rise, took the opportunity to connect with family members in America via Skype. He said: “These sessions have allowed me to download Skype and now I’m looking forward to speaking to family members more and more in America!”.

The sessions have involved residents with a wide-ranging level of experience and ability. Working with the Wavemaker trained staff, residents can learn about how they can use technology to manage their health and make new friends through social media, instant messages and video calls.

Service manager at Aspire Housing, Trish Roberts says: “The support from Realise to make these sessions happen has been invaluable. I can see so much change in how people are interacting with each other and their families. Talking together and sharing what they have learned means they are happier and less socially isolated.”