Caledonia Housing Association’s tenants in Perth have been marking their first year as Digital Champions.
With support from Caledonia staff, 34 tenants from Bowerswell retirement scheme applied for and secured over £3,000 of funding from Connecting Scotland and Perth & Kinross Council which allowed the group to purchase equipment including smart devices, a TV, and a camera and microphone to hold online meetings.
The initiative was driven by Caledonia’s commitment to the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) Digital Participation Charter and aims to reduce digital isolation and drive forward digital service improvements for tenants.
Jenna Kennedy, Retirement Team Leader, Caledonia Housing Association said: “Digital access and engagement for our tenants is a priority for CHA which is why we are a proud member of Scotland’s Digital Participation Charter. Our tenants at Bowerswell have embraced the opportunities provided by our partnership with Connecting Scotland and Perth & Kinross Council by establishing the first in-house Digital Group. With support from CHA staff and Perth & Kinross Council’s Learning and Development Officer, the Group have been meeting weekly for the past year, they have progressed their digital skills and increased their socialisation with neighbours and the wider community.”
Zoe Garvie, Community Learning & Development Officer, Perth & Kinross Council, said “The Bowerswell Digital Participation Group are a welcoming, fun, and mischievous bunch who are thoroughly enjoying learning about digital skills, technology and how to protect their information online. In just 12 months, they have learned a huge amount about navigating their own devices, grown in confidence to support each other, and are determined to look for further opportunities to evolve their Group and keep connected.”
Chrys Fraser, tenant, said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at the Digital Participation Group, I have learned a lot with the help of the trainers and my neighbours. I can now do a lot of online tasks alone. The Group has also been great fun with my neighbours. I did not have an iPad before, and this has also been great for me.”
Husband and wife tenants, Clair and George Robertson, said: “The Group has been fantastic. We could not even turn on an iPad before we attended. It has really been worth the travelling from Dunkeld. The scheme manager made us aware of the Group and we started to come along. We have learnt a new task every week and we have met many new friends and socialised a lot.”
To mark the first year of the Digital Participation Group, Caledonia Housing Association organised a celebration event at Bowerswell House, Perth for all members who were presented with certificates to mark their achievements and discuss their plans for the year ahead.
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