Crossing the divide with a Click!

The confidence levels of older people in their IT skills has increased by a massive 180%, thanks to ClickSilver a project being piloted by Business in the Community in Nottingham, with support from Capital One.

The great thing about the ClickSilver programme is that mentors will work at the pace of the person they are helping, there is no pressure to keep up with the rest of the class.

- Dave Richards,
BITC's Community Volunteering Manager in the East Midlands
ClickSilver is an intergenerational mentoring programme that supports older people to develop essential IT skills.

Mentors from Nottingham Trent University are paired with older people accessing support from Age UK Notts to receive six weeks of training on key themes related to IT literacy. Capital One contributes expertise from their Fraud Investigation Management team, helping older people develop an awareness of how to use computers and surf the internet safely.

The aim of the ClickSilver project has been to boost older peoples' confidence to use digital technology. It starts with the basics of turning the machine on and using a mouse and keyboard to then going online and getting set up with an email account. This means that they can start to use lots of online services that businesses make available such as online shopping/banking, comparison services and social networking websites.

Capital One volunteers deliver a presentation about computer safety to complete the course, and it means that participants know what to look out for in order to keep themselves safe when surfing the web and using emails.

The project was evaluated using questionnaires that asked older people to rate their confidence at the start and end of their six weeks of mentoring across a variety of computing themes. Over 50 older people took part in the courses that ran, and on average confidence levels increased a massive 180%.

Dave Richards, the Community Volunteering Manager in the East Midlands team has been leading the project, and very much believes in the effectiveness of mentoring: "The great thing about the ClickSilver programme is that mentors will work at the pace of the person they are helping, there is no pressure to keep up with the rest of the class".

The programme has demonstrated that older people are keen to know more about the digital world that has evolved so quickly in recent years. Some participants have even bought themselves a laptop or tablet computer so they can practice more at home.

The project also got a taste of fame after it was featured on ITV1's This Morning show in January.

On the whole, the project has been a huge success and looks set to grow in 2013/14 so even more older people can benefit from mentoring support to get online and get clicking away.

To find out more about Capital One visit  http://www.capitalone.co.uk

 

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