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Image of back of client speaking with staff member behind counter, under a red banner reading "Welcome to Hutt St Centre. A place of change, choice and opportunity"

Hutt St Centre

Grant round: 2017-18

Amount: $5,000

Smartphones allow simple access to online government, banking and transport services, apps for daily tasks such as online food ordering, and new opportunities for social connection. They offer great opportunities for older people living with complexity (homelessness, financial hardship, disability, Aboriginal) to live a more connected and supported life. This peer-education initiative is the first training workshop created specifically for people living with complexity to learn how to use apps safely and cheaply. Through small group workshops, participants first learn how to use an app, then teach others how to use it, empowering consumers to enhance their digital literacy and will serve as a model in this often overlooked segment of our community.

The programme was rolled out in 2018, with eight workshops taking place for 18 individuals living with complexity. Before the training, participants reported medium levels of confidence in using smart phones for basic functions (calls and texts), and low confidence in using smart phones for  web-based functions (internet banking, shopping etc.) and in-built apps (camera, calculater etc.). Following the training, participants reported a high level of confidence across all areas.

The outcomes of this programme are significant - clients continue to use smart phones since the training and have benefited in the following ways:

  • Clients are able to contact their Case Managers, and Case Managers are able to follow up with clients regarding appointments and upcoming events;
  • Two participants have had the confidence to create email addresses which has provided them with greater access to services';
  • One participant was able to contact the police in an emergency situation and now feels safer when on her own in the city;
  • Participants learned about internet security and how to keep their data safe online.

 

The programme provides a compelling example for other organisations who may wish to roll out similar workshops.