Helping residents to get online

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We are delighted to announce Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust (JRHT) have partnered with the Keeping Digital Foundation to launch one of their highly successful Digital Cafes at the Folk Hall in New Earswick in York. The Digital Cafe provides face to face support to help residents to use digital devices and access online services.

Digital Cafe at The Folk Hall

Where: Folk Hall, New Earswick, York
When: Third Thursday of every month 10:00am – 12:00pm The first session of the Digital Café was held on the 16 November. It was a fantastic success with lots of residents dropping into the session. 

At the Café, residents and users of the Folk Hall were able to pop in and ask any questions. During the session, residents were helped with a range of issues including:

  • Support with accessibility on a smartphone. Making a phone more navigable by sorting out the homepage and guidance was provided on buying a new device that had better accessibility for someone with a visual impairment.
  • How to send photos to friends and family via WhatsApp, how to navigate a photo gallery, and how to do basic editing of pictures.
  • How to sign up to the NHS App. Guided through the process whilst also being encouraged to get stuck in.
  • Two factor authentication, what it is and why it is helpful.
  • How to set up an Instagram account to provide better connectivity with friends and family.
  • Information on what are ‘cookies’ on the internet, what are the benefits and negatives, what they do and how to refuse or limit cookies and how to find this option.
  • How to use a QR code and sign up to further Digital Skills sessions.

A resident said “It is a wonderful thing you are doing (with the Digital Café), vital for everyone that is struggling and isolated to get help. Sometimes when you are trying to use IT and you cannot work something out it can be difficult and disheartening. It was really nice to get friendly support and help.”

“We are delighted to be partnering with Keeping Digital Foundation to bring one of their Digital Cafes to New Earswick. Digital Cafes will be a great resource for residents in JRHT managed properties to get digital support in a relaxed space. Running alongside our pre-existing Open House drop in café at the New Earswick Folk Hall, residents will be able to get a warm drink and friendly support in the heart of the community. This will continue Joseph Rowntree Housing Trusts commitment to supporting our residents and the wider community to be digitally involved.” Connor Lambert, Digital Inclusion and Information Accessibility Officer at the Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust

Luke Castle, Community Coordinator at the Keeping Digital Foundation commented: “We are beyond delighted to be partnering with the Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust, working alongside their amazing team to bring digital support to New Earswick. The Folk Hall will become our sixth Digital Cafe running across the city of York, providing digital inclusion support to local residents at locations that are suitable to them. With large amounts of services moving online, it’s important that residents are provided with an option to gain the skills they need to make the most of digital and to get connected, whether that be finding out about local Council information or getting in touch with their GP via the NHS app. Our volunteers will be available for a warm drink and a chat, and we really encourage residents to stop by and speak with them to find out more about how we can support them in getting online.”

More information about Digital cafes

This is the 6th Cafe launched by the Keeping Digital Foundation extending the fantastic work they are already doing across York. 

For residents who live in a home managed by JRHT and the community outside of New Earswick, there are cafes running in other locations in York: 

  • Tang Hall Explore Library, Tang Hall
  • Sanderson House, Chapelfields
  • St Wulstan, Heworth
  • York Community Stadium, Monks Cross
  • St Sampsons, City Centre, York 

You can find out more about digital cafes, including times and venues on the Keeping Digital Foundation website.

This continues the commitment from JRHT to support residents and the wider community to be digitally involved.

Open House

The Open House runs alongside the Digital Cafe and is organised by the communities’ team from JRHT. 

Open House is a warm, welcoming and social space at New Earswick Folk Hall. Everyone is welcome to call in for a free hot or cold drink and a biscuit, access free wi-fi or read the paper.  

Viv Flemming or Emma Green, JRHT Community Development Officers are always on hand to welcome new people and share information on what’s on locally. It runs every Thursday from 10-12pm.