Age UK Wandsworth promotes service ‘Digipals’ which helps older people with new technology

Digipals, which helps older people cope with new technology, is running a series of drop-in session around Wandsworth this year.

The service is run by Age UK Wandsworth, with funding from the council’s Wandsworth Grant Fund. Digipals is a volunteer-run service which offers drop-in sessions in local libraries across the borough.

The digipals can offer friendly support on a variety of different subjects such as setting up and using email, using the internet to search for information and using social media.

Emma Chisholm from Age UK Wandsworth said: “With so much of modern life moving online, digital isolation is a huge problem amongst older people.

Two thirds of people over 65 do not regularly use the internet and it can be an area where many older people lack confidence or even experience fear.

“These support sessions can also help older people to access relevant information, services and entitlements online and also help them to connect with family and friends.

The sessions are drop-in so there is no need to book and people can come once for help on something specific, or come every week and follow a course.

Attendees can use the library computers or bring their own laptop, tablet or smartphone.”

Chairman of the council’s grants committee, Cllr Melanie Hampton, said: “We were delighted to award a grant to Digipals in the ninth round of the Wandsworth Grant Fund last November, because we recognise that it is an effective way to prevent digital isolation and help older people get online.

The sessions are friendly and informal, and I would encourage anyone intimidated by technology to go along.”

Age UK Wandsworth is an independent, local charity working with and for older people in the borough of Wandsworth.

For more information about Digipals, visit their website, or email emma.chisholm@ageukwandsworth.org.uk.

As the service is growing, Age UK Wandsworth is also looking for more volunteers to become digipals.

There is no need to be an IT professional, just computer literate, friendly and supportive. For more information contact volunteering@ageukwandsworth.org.uk.

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