In the period before the lockdown TDC’s Cal Chester had been working with residents of the Ravensbourne Court housing scheme in Woodingdean to tackle what’s known as digital isolation - a term used to describe when individuals can't access the internet or digital devices as much as other people.
Through his Ageing Well work, Cal had supported Alex, a resident, with using a laptop that had been gathering dust – over several sessions and fuelled by numerous cups of tea and Penguin biscuits they worked together to get Alex safely online. Cal says “After very patiently working our way through what was possible, Alex was finally able to use his printer and to connect with the online world. This included grocery shopping, hot meal deliveries, paying bills, e-bay shopping, banking, staying in touch with friends and family via e-mail and most importantly following the football and racing.
"Having learnt these new skills on his laptop Alex has been able to remain connected to the outside world during the lockdown and even secure regular online shopping deliveries! Of course, we haven’t been able to meet in person recently, but we have remained in touch via e-mail and I have continued to offer support to Alex and made him aware of local services and resources available around Covid-19. We are now setting up regular online ‘Zoom’ meetings to better keep in touch and further expand Alex’s horizons under such challenging circumstances.”
In Alex’s words: “Before I started, I didn’t have a clue how to switch a PC on, now after several one to one session with Cal I have really got the gist of it.
I don’t get out as much as I might because of medical conditions, and this has given me the support encouragement and skills I needed to shop and to manage my accounts.
I can now send e-mails, log on to various sites and online accounts using the chrome browser. I do online Asda grocery shopping, banking, Parsley meal delivery and manage my EDF energy and o2 phone accounts. I also now do e-bay shopping and get up to date with all the news. I now feel like I have more control over my day to day business and all my accounts.
I would like to say thank you to Cal and TDC for giving me this support - It has really given me a purpose”