Building confidence with digital skills – Richard’s Story

Citizens Online are working with Torus Foundation to deliver digital skills support to residents of Torus sheltered housing schemes. Richard is 82 and lives in a sheltered housing scheme in Warrington. He has been attending digital skills sessions and building confidence with digital skills.

Brushing up on digital skills

Richard had some experience in using computers, and was able to use his own laptop to get online. However he didn’t feel totally confident with digital:

“I’m not completely au fait with computers. I need much more input.”

Richard, learner

Liz Stainsby, a Digital Champion from Citizens Online, started to run digital skills sessions at Sankey Manor in September 2021. Richard has attended since then and is enthusiastic about the support that has been offered.

Richard smiling holding the tablet device he has been using in sessions

“I’m grateful for a most beneficial time learning about computers!”

Richard, Torus resident

Richard is looking employment and volunteering opportunities and needed to send his CV and supporting documents by email. Each week, he arrives at the sessions with specific tasks he needs help with. Liz has supported him in learning how to edit a word document, copying and pasting text, saving and finding a document on his laptop and how to attach a document to an email.

Building confidence with digital devices

During his time in the sessions, it became clear that Richard would benefit from using a more up to date digital device. Like many learners, he found this type of technology more accessible and was pleased it would allow him to be more mobile in his use of digital. Torus Foundation’s Digital Inclusion team provided a tablet for Richard. He was delighted to be able to get online with a device he finds easier to use, and learn new ways of using the internet:

“My tablet is proving a source of discovery for me. It even sounds an alert tone when an email arrives! I’ve now managed to successfully send YouTube material as videos to an eager to receive friend.”

As a final session in 2021, Liz arranged a joint session with the Health and Wellbeing Officer from Torus Foundation. In this session, Richard was able to experience virtual reality for the first time, which he enjoyed.

“My first ever experience of VR was amazing! It’s a futuristic device capable of progressive expansion as science covers more details of the world beyond appearances.”

This joint working approach has enabled Richard to receive skills support, access to a device and experiment with new types of technology. Richard is grateful for the help he has received and how getting online has made a difference for him. He continues to attend the digital skills sessions at his sheltered housing scheme.

“Thanks so much for your continued support, I look forward to further sessions. Your help is appreciated!”