Projects help Hartlepool’s older and disabled people tap into social media

Kim O'Keefe (centre) from Incontrolable looks on as member Barbara Keighley is presented with her Tablet by Dean Goodwin from O2  . Picture by FRANK REID
Kim O'Keefe (centre) from Incontrolable looks on as member Barbara Keighley is presented with her Tablet by Dean Goodwin from O2 . Picture by FRANK REID
1
Have your say

The world of social media was opened up to older people and those with disabilities at a successful training workshop.

Incontrol-able, a Hartlepool a disabled person led organisation, organised the event at Cafe One77 as part of their projects to help all people have access to tablet computer devices.

Incontrol-able group member Eric Hughes with the tablet given to the group by O2 . Picture by FRANK REID

Incontrol-able group member Eric Hughes with the tablet given to the group by O2 . Picture by FRANK REID

Hands-on training was provided courtesy of technology experts from digital communications chain O2, including its Hartlepool store.

Incontrol-able loans out tablet devices to elderly people through Project 65 and disabled people through its sister scheme Ricochet.

Both help people, who may otherwise struggle, to access and use new technology in order to tackle loneliness and social isolation.

The session at Cafe One77 was the second session run with O2 after an initial one at Hartlepool Central Library.

Michael Slimings, director of Incontrol-able, said: “The first one was a back to basics session covering how to set up the tablets and this one focussed on social media such as Facebook.

“The feedback from people was really good. Some got it straight away while others needed more support.”

Michael praised the support of O2, which previously gave Project 65 10 portable wifi hotspots so users could access the internet anywhere on their devices.

He added: “The professional support they can offer is really helpful as our knowledge base is not as great as theirs.”
Since Project 65 launched last November, Incontrol-able has had 93 people referred to them, putting them way ahead of their target.

The average age of users is 78 while the oldest is 98.