A character created by Places for People for the residents at a Living Plus Later Life scheme in Chorley, Lancashire has inspired older people to get online.
Cartoon character, Gaynor Lotte, based on one of the ladies living at Briary Court, is helping take the fear out of using Facebook and technology. As secretary of the residents’ association, Gaynor Lotte regularly updates her followers on events and posts useful information for residents, and in so doing has encouraged them to log on and learn about using the internet.
This fun initiative has been greeted with great humour and enthusiasm, with the cardboard cut-out version of Gaynor being included on coach trips and days out.
Many residents, for the first time, have been able to keep in touch with family and friends as well as the wider community through Facebook, using the free wifi in the communal areas of the scheme. It has also inspired some to enrol on a computer course run in partnership with Chorley Council that takes places in the comfort of the schemes communal lounge space.
The project has helped reduce social isolation and has further strengthened the sense of community at the scheme and has also helped improve digital inclusion for residents by making the the internet seem less scary.
This is just one of the innovative ways in which Living Plus is improving digital inclusion for customers under our Digital Inclusion Strategy.