Cafe Connections Dunedin Canmore Housing Ltd

Dunedin Canmore Housing Ltd

Charity registered in Scotland SC034572

Dunedin Canmore Housing Limited is a social enterprise and registered charity delivering quality affordable housing for communities in Edinburgh, Fife and the Lothian’s. Dunedin Canmore houses homeless people, caters for people with complex needs, older vulnerable people and people on low levels of income, also operating a hostel for those most vulnerable and financially excluded. In addition to its housing related services, Dunedin Canmore develops initiatives designed to improve quality of life in local communities by accessing grant and investment support. These initiatives offer opportunities for learning, education, skills training, volunteering and employment.

  • From 4th January 2017 to 3rd July 2020
  • Award: £9,768 via Call 4
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Project plan

Project description

They would like to offer basic digital skills learning to their tenants aged 55+, with a key focus on people over 65. The aim of this project is to help more people to get online and help reduce isolation and poverty. Tutor supportwill be secured from the the digital skills academy to help tenants develop the skills and confidence to use technology and the internet. The plan is to offer a mixture of informal group sessions for up to 8 people delivered in a café style atmosphere, with an option of 1 - 1 support as a follow up if needed. 10 sheltered housing developments have been identified across Edinburgh - each development will be offered a weekly, 3 hour learning session for a period of 10 weeks. The tutor will use tailored themes (hooks) based on the interest residents have expressed. The experienced tutors will then build in specific skills that will benefit our customers within the lessons such as security and staying safe online.

Project milestones

Phase 1

Purchase mobile wifi hubs and start delivery - 15 residents receive basic digital skills training, 2 sheltered housing managers become digital champions

Phase 2

15 Residents recieve basic digital skills, 3 sheltered housing managers become digital champions

Phase 3

15 residents receive basic digital skills, 3 sheltered housing managers become digital champions

Phase 4

15 residents recieve basic digital skills, 2 sheltered housing managers become digital champions, end of project report



Café Connections has been successful in helping older people to get online. The project has now been delivered across 10 sheltered housing developments across Edinburgh and The Lothian's to improve skills and confidence using digital technology and the internet.

The project has supported over 50 people to carry out tasks such as source information online, communicate via email, messenger and social media platforms, make video calls using Skype and Face time, use you tube to troubleshoot issues and find solutions, order shopping online and take part in digital photography.

All sheltered housing developments have now had free wi-fi installed into their communal rooms to be used by all residents. This will enable café connections to keep running with the support of sheltered housing managers, carers and previous participants taking the role of digital champions.

Café Connections has continued to provide digital literacy sessions to older people living in Dunedin Canmore sheltered housing developments. For the final quarter Café Connections has been delivered in 5 developments including Cathay Court, Fraser Court, Royston Mains Close, St Colms and Stenhouse Mill Wynd. In total we have delivered 37 group sessions with additional one to one support built around the sessions.

Dunedin Canmore has been working towards improving the internet connection within our sheltered housing developments so residents can access free wifi within communal areas. This has been carried out in some of the developments with the rest to be completed over the coming weeks. This will improve our ability to get people online and learning digital skills for the future.

Café Connections has continued to be delivered both in group sessions and one to one support. Some participants needed a bit more support to improve confidence before feeling ready for a group session, while other needed dedicated support. This mixture of support has been successful in regards to keeping participants engaged who would usually have dropped out of classes.

Participants would like to keep the sessions going and Dunedin Canmore will look at alternative funding streams to do this.

Café Connections has started in two sheltered housing developments which are owned and managed by Dunedin Canmore Housing. The project has been trying to use mobile wifi to run weekly sessions within these developments which has caused some issues with connections due to the fabric of the building. The mobile wifi also reduces the level of participation due to the signal strength. Dunedin Canmore has agreed to install broadband into the sheltered housing developments to improve the level of capacity Café Connections can deliver for.

Café Connections is up and running in Stenhouse Mill Wynd and St Colms sheltered housing developments.

Stenhouse Mill Wynd - Stenhouse Mill Wynd started in April 2017 with three residents attending workshops. Due to the differences in equipment and levels of skill and confidence, the participants have been offered additional 1 to 1 support sessions on a weekly basis to help them all reach a similar level, which will work easier for group sessions. The sheltered housing manager has been tasked with helping to promote the sessions to other residents to help increase participation. It is believed that the issues with wifi has put some residents off which is why Dunedin Canmore has agreed to install broadband with wifi capabilities. Stenhouse Mill Wynd has received five, two hour sessions delivered in a group capacity followed by two, 1 hour, one to one sessions delivered to each individual.

St Colms - Café Connections @ St Colms has supported three individuals so far with digital participation skills. Again, issues with the wifi has caused some issues in generating interest with residents due to using mobile wifi technology. Only one resident had their own digital device (Kindle), with the other two participants borrowing tablets from Cre8te opportunities. Since the start of the project, another participant has went out and purchased their own device and paid to install broadband into their home. café Connections @ St Colmes started late April 2017 and has had 4, two hour sessions delivered in a group capacity, plus each individual receiving two, one to one support sessions each. Dunedin Canmore has agreed to install broadband into St Colms to improve digital access for residents as part of our digital inclusion strategy and we hope this will help increase the level of interest and capacity of these sessions. Further work with be done to support the Sheltered Housing Managers to improve their digital skills and confidence too, to help further support residents with digital skills.

Cre8te Opportunities will now be looking to deliver café connections workshops with our Elizabeth Maginnes Court and Royston Mains Close developments based in North Edinburgh next.

Café Connection session are now running across 6 sheltered housing developments managed by Dunedin Canmore. The sessions aim to help break down social isolation for older people while helping them to develop skills and confidence using digital technology. The project is still using mobile Wi-Fi technology to deliver the sessions while we wait to have broadband hard wired into the buildings. This has had an impact on getting into some sheltered housing developments as they are mobile signal black holes but local spaces are being identified as solutions until the WI-FI has been installed.

Our Café Connections sessions are running in Stenhouse Mill Wynd, St Colms, Royston Mains Close, Fraser Court and Elizabeth McGuiness Court. In the last quarter between July and October Café Connections has delivered 144 sessions supporting 27 older people. In addition the project has developed 5 digital champions to help support our users attending Café Connections session. The sessions have shown to breakdown social isolation for some of our residents and resulted in some new friendships taking place within the groups. participants are showing increased levels of confidence with technology with some participants going out and buying their own tablets or taking smart phones from relatives who have recently upgraded.

Our lack of hard-wired broadband in some of the buildings has caused a bit of an issue but we have looked at other solutions to keep the sessions running. Discussions are ongoing with providers to have broadband installed to all buildings and this will help sessions to run better.

Our digital work is delivered in partnership with: