The mPower team in Ayrshire and Arran forged a good relationship with a local group called, Community Led Action and Support Project (CLASP), based in Stevenston. CLASP run services for over 50s in North Ayrshire including CLASP Digital which helps individuals get the most out of their devices.
CLASP run free one to one tuition sessions for people who want to learn how to use a device like a laptop, tablet or smartphone. So, people who are afraid of technology are shown the basics in how to use their device, how to use email, browsing the internet, online safety and using social media, Zoom and whatsapp for staying in touch with family and friends.
As a community led organisation older people feel more comfortable working with CLASP and value the Digital Buddies who help them get used to the devices. This one to one support works at the pace of the client and patience is key in the early stages. As they build up confidence with basic use of their technology, they can then take part in group sessions to learn more about the internet and their device.
“CLASP lit a spark that created a level of interest in technology that I could never have foreseen,” said one user.
“I’ve learnt new skills that I would never have expected in a million years,” said another.
The CLASP Digital service was ideal for mPower beneficiaries who were reticent to start using digital devices. Devices alone are not enough for getting people online. Just as important is support from people with patience who can give the time to help people learn the basics of digital technology.