Get to grips with technology via devices on loan

28th November 2022

Do you struggle with technology sometimes more than you’d like to admit? Would you like to try browsing the internet, shopping online and keeping in touch with family and friends by video calls or email but don’t know how?

If the answer is yes, then a free scheme may be able to help.

In partnership with Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust (LCHS), North Kesteven District Council has access to iPads that can be loaned out to residents for up to six weeks along with one-to-one support provided by a specially-trained Digital Coach.

To be part of this project you need to be aged over 60 and have little or no experience with computers, smart phones, or other digital devices or you might just be a little rusty and need a reminder on how to use devices.

You’ll ideally need to be willing to attend one of the Digital Hubs, run by the District Council every week, where you will be provided with support in a relaxed setting and meet others also learning more about devices.

The Digital Hubs are held weekly in Heckington, Metheringham, Osbournby, Ruskington, Sleaford and Waddington. Support could be provided in your home (subject to availability) if you can’t get to a Digital Hub.

After the loan period you will be signposted and supported to buy your own device or be directed to a partner organisation who could provide access to a free device.

Jasmine Day, training officer at LCHS said: “We’re pleased to provide the digital coaching from LCHS, as this supports the community to access health services online. This could be from using the nhs.uk website to look for information, to contact NHS 111 when needing medical advice or to access exercise videos given by a physiotherapist.”

North Kesteven District Council Executive Councillor with special responsibility for Corporate and Community Services Councillor Sally Tarry said: “This is an excellent project as it demonstrates how different organisations can work together to provide support to people who really need it.

“To be part of this project you need to be aged over 60, and that’s not to suggest that you don’t already have the ability to use new devices. It’s an age group which includes lots of people and one which evidence shows may potentially suffer more from social isolation and could therefore benefit the most.

“Being isolated from friends and family can have a negative impact on our health, so being able to borrow an iPad and have expert support will provide a great introduction for those who want to embrace more technology but may not have had the opportunity before to explore it fully. It will also, hopefully, help to ensure that they are less at risk of isolation in future.”

To find out more or register to take part contact the Partnerships Team at North Kesteven District Council on 01529 414155 or email partnershipsteam@n-kesteven.gov.uk