Opening Digital Doors: Never too old to learn Trust Housing Association Ltd

The Gathering 2018

Trust Housing Association Ltd

Charity registered in Scotland SC009086

Trust is a national housing, support and care provider, offering a range of accommodation and support services. We primarily serve older people but also provide housing for families and individuals. Trust has over 2,500 households in over 100 localities across the length and breadth of Scotland.
We serve individuals with diverse and sometimes complex needs and are committed to promoting equality, respecting diversity and embedding inclusion in all activities. We actively help clients to overcome barriers to equality of service and opportunity.
We encourage clients to shape our service via a number of Registered Tenant Organisations that operate independently in their localities and also meet collectively with Trust staff twice a year as Tenant Focus groups.
We are a recognised leader in equality and diversity issues: Trust was the first housing association in Scotland to achieve Leaders in Diversity accreditation and we also have Investors in People (IIP) Gold accreditation.

  • From 4th January 2017 to 3rd July 2020
  • Award: £8,910 via Call 4
Website Twitter Facebook

View this data on 360Giving

Project plan

Project description

This project focuses on new digital participation opportunities in two sheltered housing developments for older people in rural Dumfries and Galloway, Newton Stewart and Thornhill. Training will be delivered to support residents to use a large digital touch screen Kiosk and tablet in communal lounges – they will gain knowledge which will also enable them to use personal digital devices independently. As part of their Corporate Strategy ‘Bright Future’, Trust HA are committed to building an inclusive digital participation-enabled organisation. They have a Digital Participation Working Group which includes a cross-section of staff and tenants. The group collaborates with other organisations that have delivered digital inclusion projects and shares best practice on topics such as digital induction for new residents. They plan to continue delivering digital information about their services and explain how residents can influence service design and delivery through digital participation with Trust and local and national forums for older people.

Project milestones

Phase 1

Design of tailored digital skills training programme with training partner organisations – content and schedule

Phase 2

Communicate digital training opportunities and benefits to staff and residents, older people in local community and partner organisations

Phase 3

Mid-project feedback consultation on relevancy of training modules, identify challenges that have arisen and identify new topics or activities to pursue

Phase 4

50 participants will have undergone digital skills training.



Our commitment to Digital Participation runs through our Business Strategy. Digital Participation is a key enabler to improving access to our services and making it possible for customers to 'do business' with us using technology. The Digital Participation Project is linked to the Business Digital Strategy with the implementation of online services.

This Digital Participation project was part of the Digital Strategy in two of its Housing with Care developments - one in the Borders in Galashiels and the other in Pollokshaws in the southside of Glasgow. The residents in these developments are mostly frail and many have dementia and high care needs.

To start the project WiFi was installed in the developments and a touch screen Kiosk was fitted in the communal lounges to allow residents and visitors to use whenever they wished and to enable training to be delivered at a central point.

We also established effective partnerships in both locations in order to deliver training sessions – in Galashiels we partnered with the local library and we worked with Glasgow Life to train residents in our Pollokshaws developments.

We held a formal launch of the project in Galashiels on 29th June and in Pollokshaws on 25th July as a means of raising awareness. A reporter from the local media attended the launch in Galashiels, with residents, Trust staff and training delivery partners from the local library.
In Pollokshaws residents and older people from local ethnic minority communities attended the launch. (A copy of the invite attached.)

The project was widely advertised with tenants and their family and friends, local GP surgeries and libraries and community groups. Weekly training sessions were advertised with residents in developments as well as older people from the local community. (Copy of posters attached.)

Older people who have attended the sessions and are still being supported by the staff after the completion of the project are very pleased with their newly-acquired learning and skills in a variety of ways. With a touch screen kiosk in place in the communal lounge of both developments and a tablet for individuals' use, there is an ongoing theme of digital learning for older people.

The project was completed with celebratory events where Digital Champions were awarded certificates. (Photo attached.)

The evidence of the success of the project can be measured with an increase in the use of Wi-Fi in each development. The digital learning has encouraged many participants to buy their own devices and some were gifted them by their families.

The real impact has been the change in older people. They feel empowered that they have learned something new at this stage in their lives. Their enthusiasm and excitement of being able to save their family and especially grandchildren's photographs and show them to their friends is very apparent. Some are shopping on line, able to find information on local services and the convenience of using Facetime to speak to their family and friends have all been life changing experiences.

Never too Late to Learn:
The Digital Participation project has been delivered in two of Trust Housing Association's Housing with Care developments - one in the Borders in Galashiels and the other in Pollokshaws in the Southside of Glasgow. It has been a learning curve and helped developed understanding to encourage tenants who are mostly frail and many have dementia and high care needs.

Regular training sessions were delivered by expert trainers and ongoing support is being provided by the staff. It was helpful for older residents to have someone within the development to seek help and learn at their own pace.

Residents found the touch screen kiosk in the communal lounge very useful when they don't have their own device. It also encouraged group learning at a pace that suited them.

Staff at the developments will continue to support residents in digital learning to keep the momentum going and also looking into working with local schools to keep it going. The current training partner is keen to return to deliver further training sessions if there is demand for it from existing and new residents moving into the developments.

A final event was held in Galashiels development on Monday 12 March. Local MSP Christine Graham was the main guest who presented Digital Champion certificates to some of the residents. An event is planned to be held in Pollokshaws in May 2018, where due to the high demand weekly training sessions are still ongoing. Pollokshaws development was successful in getting local older people to join the training sessions including individuals from ethnic minority community.

Trust Housing Association developed a Digital Participation project in two of its Sheltered Housing developments in rural Dumfries and Galloway. Newton Stewart and Thornhill. These developments are medium sized developments, with 26 flats in Newton Stewart and 24 in Thornhill.

The first task we undertook was to ensure all equipment and essential services were in place to underpin the success of the project. We installed wifi in the developments for all residents to use in their flats and common areas. We also fitted a touch screen Kiosk in the communal lounge of our developments for residents and visitors to use whenever they wish and to enable trainers to have a central point to deliver sessions.

We established an effective partnership with the local library to train residents in both developments.

Work is also underway to publicise the project within the local community as well as within our developments. An eye-catching poster has been designed with details of times, dates and venues for training sessions and the launch events will be held in the very near future. We have also produced posters to advertise the project in a variety of venues which are frequently visited by a large cross-section of the community – local libraries, dentists, GP surgeries, supermarkets, local clubs, and other sheltered housing developments.

Weekly training sessions are planned involving residents in developments as well as older people from the local community.

Training sessions will start on 25 July in Thornhill and 26 July in Newton Stewart. The installation of wifi in these developments has caused a slight delay in delivery of the project but we are confident that we will catch up with timescales with all equipment and processes in place.

Trust Housing Association has been delivering its Digital Participation project in two of its sheltered housing developments in rural Dumfries and Galloway, Newton Stewart and Thornhill.

The touchscreen kiosk is available in the communal lounges and a small portable tablet with similar icons which means that tenants have regular access to digital devices . Weekly training sessions are facilitated by staff from the local libraries.

Training is a joint partnership between the local library and the development. Posters are on display in the library and wider community. as advertisement and inviting older people to join the tenants in training sessions.

The official launch in Newton Stewart was held on Friday 8 September with guest speaker Finlay Carson MSP. It was attended by 17 tenants and guests including trainers, organisations and family members.

The launch in Thornhill development was held on Monday 13 November. The event was delayed because of some technical issues with Wi-Fi access due to the design of the properties. The launch was attended by 14 tenants, trainers and some guests.

Our digital work is delivered in partnership with: