An informal & friendly place to get support
Our Community Tech Support drop-ins are built on three principles:
- Support is best placed where residents are already receiving other help or participating in activities.
- Small group and peer support, not only motivate, but can provide the best environment to learn new things or to get organized without it being too overwhelming.
- Traditional places of learning and refurbished libraries can be intimidating
We try to address these as best we can via our free to access sessions. Between September and December 2021 we supported a total of 83 residents across 3 regular venues in Crystal Palace, Thornton Heath and Loughborough Junction where we helped with a variety of different challenges including:
- Checking and refurbishing a ‘dormant’ laptop
- Setting up a new iPad and iPhone, transferring data via cloud storage.
- Setting up email addresses or unlocking online accounts
- Storage: moving and deleting files on phones / tablets and laptops
- Learning how to use a device and exploring settings and accessibility.
- Learning how to use word, copying and pasting and formatting.
- Using publisher to create a flyer for a new business start up
- Building confidence around sending and replying to emails
- Creating an account and making a first purchase online
Most importantly, however, we provided a quiet and friendly space to practice and have a little time to learn something new.
Our network of referring partners really help this initiative to work. With regular sign-posting by Age UK both in Croydon ad Lambeth, the Living Well Partnership, Croydon BME Forum, Disability Advice Services Lambeth, Croydon Mencap, Harbour Recovery Service and Bromley Well, to name a few, we have a regular stream of newcomers.
Many stop for a cup of tea and continue to come back. By giving people the time and space to understand their challenges and a gentle push we believe that Community Tech Support is a crucial local service to help people be more digitally included.
Our strategy for 2022 to to scale up this service and prvide a consistent provision accross a wider geographical area in South London.
If you’d like to discuss how we can bring this to you then please get in touch,
Henry came to us via a referral from Quay Health Solutions, and he already had existing ties to Platform Café. He came with his iPad and iPhone to get them synced up and to learn some new things.
He attended every week without fail, growing in confidence and showing increasing curiosity about his devices.
He’s excellent at troubleshooting but needed a touch of encouragement and reassurance. Henry is able to problem solve using his devices by looking up questions on google and is a lot more familiar with his settings and adapting his devices to suit his usage.
Bernard started coming along to the sessions as a companion to another resident. The first few sessions he would come with her but by the end of the year he was coming every week on his own, often showing up first and getting himself set up without any assistance. He started the off coming along with a donated laptop to help with looking for work but lacked some confidence and direction.
Over time he’s gained focus and has started taking a real interest in the activities to help him build the foundational skills to help him confidently use his laptop.
This has helped him come out of his shell, engaging more with the activities and other people in the sessions, smiling and making jokes.