The many benefits of being online – Margaret’s story

Margaret is 82 and is a resident in one of Torus’ sheltered housing schemes in Warrington where Citizens Online are delivering digital skills sessions in partnership with Torus Foundation. Margaret owned a tablet which she used occasionally to access the internet, but like many people she was worried about security online. She has found out about many benefits of being online after working with a Digital Champion.

Margaret says “I wasn’t confident with using the internet. I was frightened of pressing things in case somebody scammed me.”

Citizens Online digital champion, Liz Stainsby, started delivering digital skills sessions in the scheme in September 2021. Margaret decided to come along so she could learn a little more about how to use her tablet and has found out about many benefits of being online. So far she has learnt about YouTube, how to unsubscribe from promotional emails, how to use Facebook privacy settings and choosing secure passwords. 

Liz has also supported Margaret to learn about using the internet for shopping. Although she had already shopped on Amazon, Margaret wanted to learn more about online shopping at different retailers. After just three sessions, Margaret is positive about how the support has helped her.

“I feel more confident with using the tablet now. I know I’ll get more confident as time goes on with help too.”

In one session, Liz helped Margaret to register a Torus online account. Margaret needed a repair on her shower door. She was able to report this on her online account and book a repair in for the very next day and even choose a time slot. This proved to be a success as her repair was carried out at the time requested the following day. Margaret was delighted:

“Reporting the repair in this way was much better than ringing as I didn’t have to wait on the phone. I could go on when I wanted and just type it in!”

Apart from gaining more digital skills, Margaret enjoys the support and social side to attending the digital skills sessions with other residents. Margaret says “I really enjoy coming. I enjoy learning something and Liz’s input too. She’s very helpful!”