Sarah Neary, Digital Participation Officer at West of Scotland Housing Association, shares her chat with Lily – a tenant she’s helped get online.

Lily, 83, has been receiving home visits from our Digital Participation Officer to learn more about her iPad. Here she tells us what it’s been like as she has taken her first few steps into a brand new digital world… 

What experience of digital technology did you have before the training? 

Very little, I could email a bit but I didn’t do much else. My family thought it was good for me to get online, as everything’s going to be digital soon so I thought I’d find out what it’s all about. I didn’t want to get left behind! 

What have you learned in the past month? 

Quite a lot of things! I can use Facetime to make video calls and it was such a nice surprise to find out that you can phone people all over the world for free. I have also been learning how to order my messages online which is brilliant. My family do my shopping at the moment but if I go onto the supermarket website and can do it myself, it will save everyone time. My family feel happier when they go away on holiday too because if I run out of food, I can just go online and get the shop to deliver some more. 

What do you enjoy most? 

I like getting in touch with family, on email and Facetime. It saves me money rather than using the landline, and I have reconnected with friends and some of the nurses I used to work with. It also means I can receive photos – I got a lovely picture from my daughter when she was in Italy recently, and email makes it so easy to share these moments with her.  

What’s next then? 

I would like learn more about taking photos, so I can send some to other people too. I also want to learn how to complete forms online as they have started sending emails like that from the doctors which I will need to complete. It would be good to be able do my own banking and feel safe with it as well. I wanted to find out more about vitamins I take the other day, and I noticed a 30% off deal online which was great, so I had to place an order! I could only do that because I was shown how to scroll and flick through the screen and use websites like Google to search for information. Practice is important – I’m quite bad at it, but even just keeping my iPad handy next to my chair means I can do a wee bit each day. 

Would you recommend the digital training to others? 

Definitely, it’s very exciting! I didn’t think I would ever manage it, but my teacher is very patient and I’m doing quite well now. I would tell people to give it a go, there’s so much you can do! 

To find out more about the digital support on offer at West of Scotland Housing Association, please call our Digital Participation Officer on 0141 550 5078. We offer one-to-one support, and will also be running group sessions in certain areas depending on demand. The first Tea and Technology drop-in session will take place in Barrowfield Community Centre, on Tuesday 12th November from 10:30am – 12:30pm.Come along for a cuppa and find out more about how using a smartphone, tablet, laptop or computer could help you.