Vodafone UK hosts first in series of workshops in the West Midlands

Vodafone UK has hosted the first in a series of workshops in the West Midlands. The sessions are designed for older people who want to learn more and get the most out of technology.

They have now completed 3 of the initial 4 TechConnect workshops – Stirchley Baths Community Hub, Sutton Communitea Cafe and Laurel Road Sports Community Centre, Handsworth.

‘Vodafone Techconnect’ workshops take place at community centres in and around Birmingham. The two-hour sessions give participants the opportunity to learn more about technology including using their mobile device, learning how to use social networking apps or even how to send a text. Run by Vodafone staff, they are free to attend.

New research, conducted in the West Midlands, has identified an appetite for learning new digital skills amongst the region’s older generation.

Vodafone initiated the sessions after a report it commissioned in spring this year. It found that a third of older adults (65+) identify themselves only “a little confident” or “not at all confident” in their ability to use electronic devices for essential online activities. The findings also suggest that technology can play a vital role in alleviating loneliness in older people by keeping them connected to their family and friends for longer.

Quotes from attendees

“The trainers were really helpful and informative and I’ve learned a lot in the session.” Margaret Edwards (attending Sutton)

“I found the session really useful and informative. Everyone was really friendly and approachable and I feel I learned a lot.” Valarie Smith (attending Stirchley)

Elsie, Mavis and Betty were 3 ladies attending in Handsworth – 2 cousins and one long-time friend who wanted to learn how to store each other’s numbers, call and text each other to be able to keep in touch more regularly.

Elsie: “If someone was ringing me I’d miss the call and I didn’t know how to add my friends. I’m delighted with today and really grateful for the time, my teacher was amazing and I feel much more confident.”

Mavis: “I wanted to learn how to get my own number to give it out when friends asked, I learned that today and it was easier than I thought.”

Betty: “I learned a lot today on how to use my smartphone, I hope they do more like this in the future”

The final event will be: South Yardley Library, Yardley Rd, Yardley, Birmingham B25 8LT (Friday 1st November, 2pm – 4pm)

Those interested can sign up by emailing techconnect@theprnetwork.com with their name and which event they want to attend and what technology skills they wish to learn.

*Photo by Jack Spicer Adams

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