Golden Surfers Renfrewshire Council Housing Support Services

The Gathering 2018

Renfrewshire Council Housing Support Services

In our organisation we deliver support services within 13 sheltered & amenity housing complexes. This is specifically designed to comfortably meet the needs of people who are aged 60 years or over. These properties are easy to maintain and offer tenants the safety of living in a secure environment, while also enabling people to retain their independent lifestyle. Our aim is to understand each individual’s need and work to enable our tenants to live independently and be actively engaged within the wider community, by providing activities that give these people greater opportunities to meet new people socially but also have on going wellbeing programmes and projects that improve their physical and mental health, and reduce social isloation.
All our sheltered complexes have a communal lounge where social activities take place, these activities will vary between complexes and tenants are free to participate if they wish to do so.

  • From 1st March 2017 to 31st March 2018
  • Award: £8,980 via Call 4

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Project plan

Project description

This project will run a series of basic digital skills classes using tablets (ipad/androids) for tenants living in Sheltered Housing across their Housing Support Service. The digital training course will give basic IT skills to everyone, on every level, no matter their experience. Each class will last 6 weeks - the aim is to deliver 15 classes and provide additional support sessions to increase the digital skills of approximately 200 tenants across 1 year. Activity will be delivered at 13 locations across Renfrewshire. Incorporated in the training there will be opportunities for their Sheltered Housing Officers to be trained up with the basic digital skills. They will provide each tenant and staff member with a training manual. The project will be managed by the Health and Wellbeing Co-ordinator for Renfrewshire Council Housing Support Services and will also link into the Digital Renfrewshire Programme to share the project success and learnings.

Project milestones

Phase 1

Digital Tutor and Digital Volunteers recruited and in place

Phase 2

Refine core curriculum of training course, prepare training materials, advertise courses and recruit students

Phase 3

Begin delivery of 12 training courses across the 13 housing complexes, review course feedback and update course accordingly throughout, delivery of train the trainer courses to staff and volunteers and provide shawdowing opportunities,

Phase 4

Minimum of 12 classes delivered along with smaller sessions delivered by SHO's and volunteers, 200 tenants will have increased their digital skills, a celebration event to thank volunteers, staff and celebrate the acheivements of the tenants



Digital into sheltered housing has provided our older adults the opportunity to attend our basic Digital skills workshops.
These digital taster sessions have certainly proved to be very worthwhile. At first we started our digital classes with instructors going into our complexes doing digital classes using presentation slides and issuing a digital manual that had the whole digital course that was a great guide and resource. However, we quickly learned that not everyone was engaging with this way of learning and found that a few tenants dropped out of the classes. Throughout the sessions we did evaluation and identified these pit falls and it made us address our training methods.
As our tenants are in the more mature bracket they were needing additional 1-2-1 training and for us to break the sessions down into bite size for them to grasp the concept of digital. This we done and the outcome became clearer as tenants were engaging, and you could see the confidence building as they were then trying new things at home and coming back to the next session and showing off their skills.
Because we were funded by the SCVO chartered fund we were able to provide appliances to tenants for them to use. We were lucky with our first group within Glencairn Court, they were part of the installation of free wifi within Renfrewshire town project and they could access the internet without paying for it. For everyone else as well as taking the tablets and ipads along to the training we had the unlimited dongle for them to all to access free wifi.
We took instruction from the tenants on what they wanted to learn and created a varied programme taking in: Basic setting turning on/off, social media, messenger and facebook, picture tagging, creating photo files and albums and saving them in their galleries, preparing spreadsheets and using audio functions. Exploring the internet, we found this an issue as our tenants were not confident in how to stay safe so we spent a bit of time with this. With this we showed tenants how to understand adverts and enable them to turn these off again safely. They learned how to install apps using app store and installing games, and accessing you tube etc. How to get onto the internet and search for information and websites, use websites safely, buy something from a site. We set up email addys and helped tenants send an email and reply to one. Lastly we talked them through online forms and how to fill them in.On the 6th September we are doing our big Celebrating Digital In Renfrewshire event, with the public invitation section called 'Browse into the Future'. This starts at 9.30am and will showcase our success. We have got inspirational digital speakers from UWS and SCVO . We will be celebrating success of our tenants and the digital schools as well as breakout sessions of Virtual Reality/3D printing/fitness tracking/essential digital skills and we will conclude with a networking session.

To date we have worked with 7 complexes and revisited 6 of these to do 1-1 sessions

The Golden Surfers project has hit a few teething problems on the recruitment and volunteer side. It was not all plain sailing however, we now have all that sorted and due to start on the 14th August and will make up the time that we are behind.

We started on the 14th August and have delivered one full 6 week course with our amenity housing residents at Glencairn Court in the Gallowhill area of Paisley. We are also on week 5 of our next 6 week block working with 2 Sheltered housing Complexes Springbank Road and Speirsfield Gardens also in Paisley.

Our digital work is delivered in partnership with: