This winter shorter days and time spent indoors — combined with the impact of the pandemic —will leave many feeling disconnected. That’s why we’ve been busy connecting our community through technology training, running winter social clubs, and creating one-to-one friendships, increasing the confidence and wellbeing of our neighbours.
The digital divide has been exacerbated over the last 18 months. Before the pandemic, 11.9 million people in the UK lacked digital skills and 52% of those people were aged over 60. But the impact of a global pandemic has meant that more people than ever feel disconnected and, as a result, lonely. The need for connection is now more crucial than ever.
This year, we are taking part in The Big Give Christmas Challenge to support our winter social activities bringing people together through tech, to break down the barriers that can make the world an isolating and lonely place for younger and older neighbours alike.
Meet the two Jills
Jill (71) and Jill (72) met at one of our Social Clubs in 2019, and have been close friends ever since. Both expressed feeling more isolated during the pandemic, so we showed them how to use Zoom so that they could access our Virtual Social Clubs. To date, they've attended an incredible 240 Social Clubs between them, with the majority having been online during lockdowns.
When asked what's kept her coming back, Jill said "You meet all these different, vibrant, clever new people. It’s that feeling of belonging, of being part of the community. It makes you feel like you exist, like you’re noticed.”
How can I support Together Through Tech?
This year, we are taking part in The Big Give Christmas Challenge, raising money to keep neighbours in east London connected through our core programmes and offering technological support to those who need it.
We will be connecting our older neighbours to our social activities to share time, conversation and friendship. Your support will enable us to reach out to new people in our community, provide older neighbours with digital skills through group workshops and encourage neighbours to join our social clubs and one-to-one friendship programme.
How does the Big Give Christmas Challenge work?
The Big Give Christmas Challenge 2021 is a match funding campaign, which will take place from 12pm 30th November 2021 – 12pm 7th December 2021. This year we have a target of £6,000 to go towards bringing neighbours together through tech as well as our winter social clubs. Each pound you donate will be matched by our match funders, helping us get closer to our goal by the end of the week.
How much should I donate?
£128 could connect four new older neighbours to our east London’ community for friendship and wider support
£50 could fund a facilitator to host a fun activity at a winter Social Club
£20 could provide one-on-one tech support for an older neighbour in east London
£10 could help an older neighbour to improve their digital skills at a tech social club
Posted by Rob Paterson on Tuesday 16th November 2021
Development Coordinator for East London Cares.