New project helps Hartlepool’s older generation to access technology

Councillor Christopher Akers-Belcher and Michael Sliming from Incontrol-able
Councillor Christopher Akers-Belcher and Michael Sliming from Incontrol-able

A disabled people’s organisation today launches a new project to help older people in Hartlepool access the latest technology.

Incontrol-able Community Interest Company will run Project 65, a free computer tablet loan service to help tackle social isolation.

We recognised through those projects that a lot of older people are excluded from digital technology

Michael Slimings

The 12-month project will help the older generation to get to grips with the new technology to empower them to keep in touch with friends and family, find out about local events and services and increase their confidence in using the gadgets.

Michael Slimings, director of Incontrol-able said Project 65 developed from similar projects with visually impaired people and those with disabilities and long-term health conditions.

He said: “We recognised through those projects that a lot of older people are excluded from digital technology.

“It can be quite expensive if you are just starting out and people may be scared of the technology.

“What we hope with this project is to take away the fear and show older people that they can access it.

“We have a long list of people we are going to engage with. It is quite exciting and we are looking forward to it.”

Groups Incontrol-able will work with include Hartfields retirement village, Hartlepool Carers, Age UK and The Bridge dementia support service.

It has taken on a new project programme team leader and staff will offer one to one and small groups support.

Funding for the project has come from Northgate Public Services Community Fund which invests £40,000 a year in IT-related schemes and is being supported by Hartlepool Borough Council.

Council leader Councillor Christopher Akers-Belcher said: “Project 65 is the latest in a range of local projects to benefit from this community fund which is designed to enhance people’s lives and opportunities through the use of IT.”

The project is open to any Hartlepool resident aged 65 or over.

For more details call 07775 081351, 07990 554844 or email projects@incontrol-able.co.uk