Connecting Care-Centred Communities West Dunbartonshire CVS

The Gathering 2018

West Dunbartonshire CVS

Charity registered in Scotland SC032003

West Dunbartonshire CVS is a local third sector interface body, providing volunteering, community development and third sector support at all levels throughout the local community. We offer a wide range of engagement and empowerment services and are committed to ensuring that communities have access to the tools, skills, resources and information they need to help make their communities better places to live, work and volunteer. We have a team of 10 paid staff and 82 volunteers helping us to provide our services.

  • From 23rd October 2017 to 22nd October 2018
  • Award: £10,000 via Call 5
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Project plan

Project description

The project will increase the digital skills of older people in West Dunbartonshire, focussing on those who live in a supported homely-setting ie sheltered housing and care home facilities. It will engage multi-generational volunteers from within the community to help support residents to gain the digital skills they need to keep their hobbies, interests, friendships and family relationships at a level which helps promote their positive wellbeing. Weekly digital skills sessions will be held, in group and 1-2-1 formats using tablets, linking residents with a community volunteer who shares an interest or who has a connection with the residents former home area/work experience. Residents will choose from a list of options that would most improve their quality of life eg. using search engines for hobbying, engaging with facebook and other ‘chat’ options, using Skype/Facetime and other connecting options to maintain contact with friends and family.

Project milestones

Phase 1

Recruit and train 4 cohorts of 10 volunteers

Phase 2

Hold awareness and meet sessions in each of the care facilities

Phase 3

Provide and monitor weekly awareness engagement sessions

Phase 4

Develop a ‘peer’ network of resident champions



Work remains on plan with targets being largely met. Although initially reliant on our existing networks and contacts we have been pleased to see new developments and approaches from partners as the project has progressed. The care sector (those living at home and in a homely setting) continues to be a positive, fruitful line of activity for us and we are now working in some way with 12 local provider organisations/centres – third sector, public and independent sector. In addition to the existing links with local schools we have in the last quarter progressed a wider volunteer recruitment campaign. An information flyer has been developed and promoted widely throughout the area yielding a positive number of new enquiries both from potential volunteers but also enquiries from people seeking support to progress their skills. The profile of digital skills development is an important part of empowered communities and for this reason we have ensured it is included in the Community Planning structure, reporting progress to the main Management Board via the Empowered thematic group chaired by the WDCVS Chief Officer.

We are pleased to report that delivery of the workplan remained on target and the project continued to be well received and is on track for becoming an embedded activity within our portfolio of services for older people. As highlighted in the previous report, we have secured connectivity of the project with local community planning structure via the Empowered thematic group with actions reported on a quarterly basis and this will help with the process of maintaining beyond the scope of funding. Links established with the care sector remain strong and we are pleased to be working with all of our partners to identify potential new digital initiatives. Due to the school holiday period we have in the last quarter focussed our volunteer recruitment on the wider public.

The project set out to increase the levels of digital awareness and participation amongst older residents of West Dunbartonshire living both at home and in homely settings. The project worked across a range of care settings spanning both local authority and third sector provision. Taking an asset-based approach, our team of volunteer digital trainers supported our residents to develop digital skills which allowed them to pursue established hobbies, interests and key communication. Support was delivered in small groups and one-to-one and used tablets for ease of use. Areas covered included using search engines, email, using skype/facetime, accessing and uploading to You-tube, social media use and internet shopping. We hope to build on the positive levels of support from all involved and increase the project reach in the future.

Work has been progressing well on the project, with momentum growing steadily over the last few months. We have maximised our existing networks to raise awareness and have seen a very positive level of interest from our older residents living both at home and in homely settings across West Dunbartonshire. With the support of the local Scottish Care Integration Lead, with whom we work in partnership across a number of initiatives, we have found the care sector to be receptive to the project and its aims. There has also been a consistently increasing level of engagement from other local retirement housing providers, who have been pro-active in promoting the project and encouraging tenants to participate. This enthusiasm has been mirrored in tutor-recruitment. Links have been made with our local secondary schools, libraries and the three main older people's representative bodies locally to promote the tutor role; each presentation has been well received and steady recruitment has taken place. We have also actively promoted the opportunity via our volunteer centre service and have a good level of interest. Practical aspects of the process such as purchasing the tablets and delivering tutor training have also progressed positively.

Our digital work is delivered in partnership with: