Source: Auckland Council
The success of a programme aimed at helping local seniors to use technology has had some major social benefits for some participants.
Over the past few months, Takapuna North CommunityTrust has run drop-in Tech for Seniors sessions at Sunnynook Community Centre and Takapuna Library – attracting between 12-20 people each time.
People like 75-year-old Patsy from Castor Bay, who dropped into Takapuna for some help with an IT issue after spotting a flyer at the library.
“I really needed someone to sit with me and work through what I needed to do to solve the issue without getting frustrated with my lack of knowledge.
“That’s exactly what I got. Having someone with a bit of patience who was able to sit with me one on one and work through things was great. My only regret was that I didn’t prepare myself with the questions I had before I went in so I would definitely recommend that.”
Trust manager Sarah Thorne says it decided to run the free sessions following a conversation with Age Concern around digital exclusion of older people and because they tied in nicely with a learning programme being run by Auckland Council at the library.
“Most wanted help with their phones to do things like download the Covid tracer app, learn how to put someone’s contact details into their phone and how to make and receive a phone call.”
Other practical help provided were setting up accessibility settings on phones to increase text size, lengthen screen lock times and make keyboards react better to unsteady fingers.
“We discovered the need was far greater than we thought with many wanting to keep connected but that technology is just not set up for older adults to use so it was important to have a little patience and thinking outside the box goes a long way to improving connectivity and independence and in reducing loneliness,” says Sarah.
“While most people came for help, many returned several times for the company.”
Feedback for the programme has been really positive and the trust is hoping to offer the more sessions in the future.
“We are quite keen to involve some local young people who recently attended our Intergenerational Dialogue event last month and expressed an interest in volunteering.”
The programme was enabled by the funding Devonport-Takapuna Local Board provides to the trust to deliver programmes to the community.
About Takapuna North Community Trust
The Takapuna North Community Trust supports community development from Hauraki corner to Sunnynook. Its mission is that the people love where they live.
The trust is supported by Devonport-Takapuna Local Board and Auckland Council to deliver programmes, events and activities in the area.
Some of these include events and activities for pre-schoolers, summer and winter fun programmes, art classes and activities for seniors – just to name a few.
The trust also supports the Pupuke Birdsong Project.
Find our more a bout the trust activities on its website or follow them on Facebook.
The trust provides community development services on a local level from Hauraki Corner to Sunnynook, east of State Highway 1. There are two community trusts providing services to the community in the Devonport-Takapuna Local Board area. The Devonport Community Coordinator and Devonport Peninsula Trust support the area south of Hauraki.