Connecting Older People (COP) ASRA

The Gathering 2018


ASRA” is a multicultural and easily accessible service for older and disabled people, their carers and families from minority ethnic communities who suffer inequality and social exclusion due to health, social, cultural and language barriers. The organisation has a long term objective of enabling disadvantaged communities to become self- sufficient and assist them to integrate into society and thereby improve the quality of life for them. The service includes comprehensive and need led day care and outreach support.
Prevention and early intervention is at the forefront of our service. It aims to make day-to-day living easier and giving older and disabled people full and meaningful and connected life.

  • From 10th April 2017 to 8th December 2017
  • Award: £9,990 via Call 4
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Project plan

Project description

ASRA plan to deliver a 6-8 months project ‘Connecting Older People’ (COP) which will work with minority ethnic older people, in particular those from South Asian backgrounds. The aim is to equip older and disadvantaged members of the local communities with basic / enhanced digital skills and provide them an opportunity to transform their life from social exclusion into inclusion and feeling of belonging. 1) 8 week, one to one engagement which will increase communication with the wider community for a minimum of 20 older people. Each learner will have opportunity to access 8 one to one, hourly sessions. 2) 10 tailored IT group workshops within ASRA's Glasgow premises, will work with 30-40 individuals. There will be 6 to 8 groups and each group will consist of 5 learners and each group will aim to have 10 (2 hours each) workshops. A social group and end of project celebration are also planned. The project will be delivered by a tutor and line managed by the Project Manager.

Project milestones

Phase 1

Reduced social isolation and older people are linked with other social groups

Phase 2

Older people are enabled to open and use email, skype and facetime accounts and can connect with family and friends across world and access world news in various languages

Phase 3

Older members are able to do online shopping, download or access music and develop skill to access information on welfare rights benefits

Phase 4

The project is successfully completed and minimum 50 older people have accomplished their training



We are delighted that the digital project has successfully completed two third of its tenure. The programme of digital activities is meeting its targets and is being delivered as planned. The learners had the opportunity to access one to one and group training sessions. They learnt new skills and practised to strengthen the skills they learnt in the previous quarter.
The number of participants (50 to 88 years old) increased to 46. In the first part of the programme, the participants were able to learn to create email accounts, setting up FaceTime and downloading and playing music in their native languages. The second part of the programme focussed on learning to access the local, national and international news about sports and history and watch Hollywood and Bollywood movies. They were able to continue using FaceTime/skype to connect family members and friends across the globe. This assisted them to reduce their feeling of isolation, enhance their self-confidence and drive to pursue their interest to expand their digital knowledge bank. They have started browsing websites and searching for desired information such as online shopping and deals on products of their interest.

The learners have completed one third of their digital journey. The programme consisted of series of one to one and group activities of digital participation. The time and days when the learners accessed the service had been scheduled in consultation with the learners. The timetable is flexible and utmost attempt is made to schedule time that suits individuals in order to maximise their consistent interest in learning digital skills.
40 people (50 to 84 years old) participated in digital learning activities during March to June 2017. To date, this number has increased to 46 and is targeted to move up to over 50. Most of them did not have English as their first language and although keen to learn yet they thought they were alien to the digital language. They were excited to learn that age was never a barrier to gain knowledge and learning digital language did not require good grasp of English. All they needed was to be able to understand letters on the keyboard as fonts of other languages such as Urdu, Hindi, Punjabi, Arabic and Cantonese could be easily downloaded.
First part of the programme focussed on learning to create email accounts, setting up FaceTime and playing and downloading music. The individuals are enjoying the programme that has improved their digital capacity as well as their personal life.

Our digital work is delivered in partnership with: