Digital inclusion

CASE STUDY: The Dynamic Digital Duo!

Shevington is one of currently nine frequent TechMate Tea Parties that take place across Wigan and Leigh. Providing a casual drop-in session for local residents seeking basic digital skill support, Shevington Methodist Church hosts fortnightly Techmate Tea Parties as a local resident hub, working as an excellent location to tackle digital exclusion at the heart of the community.

Mother and Son duo Evelyn and Clive never miss the fortnightly sessions, which take place alongside a fortnightly coffee morning, and attribute so much of their digital confidence to the TechMate Tea Party.

Evelyn says “I’ve gone from strength to strength with it all and I am so grateful to the Council for the service. I now have a smartphone and know how to use WhatsApp, which means I can save money on a data contract as I have WIFI. I’d never have known how to do this before the TechMates!

During the lockdowns, a couple of years ago now, I missed out on seeing family and friends, as well as our church services. The TechMates helped me get back into the world using digital.

When you have a tablet in your living room, you’re no longer alone. Everyone is with you! And now we can go every other week to learn with the TechMates, it’s even better!”

The drop-in sessions are run by volunteers and council staff, supporting a variety of different people, abilities, and skill levels, including supporting residents learning through LearnMyWay (external website), an online learning platform from Good Things Foundation (external website) with free training to gain digital skills to stay safe and connected.

Clive says “We’ve been coming for about 18 months and we just love to join the group every single session. I’ve used the website LearnMyWay – which is great. I’m not a fan of classrooms and all that, but LearnMyWay with the TechMates’ help is right for me – I’m able to practice emails and online safety. With all the support we’ve learned so much, so I am thankful to the team for that!”

The group has become a pillar of digital peer support for local residents, with a friendly face and basic digital skill support always on offer – and a brew of course!

Visit the Digital Wigan Get Online (external website) page to see when and where the next TechMate Tea Party is being held.

Article Published: 18/10/2023 13:54 PM