Jen Dawe, Director of Pop Up Enterprises CIC talks about what makes intergenerational projects like ‘Digital Buddies’ so rewarding, and what the young people and residents of Ogden Court have been learning together.
We’re currently working in partnership with MTM Youth Services CIC and Saffron Housing Trust to run our latest Digital Buddies programme at Ogden Court in Wymondham, and it is going brilliantly! This exciting project puts the residents together with a group of young volunteers to boost the residents’ digital skills.
It has been wonderful to see relationships develop between our younger and older participants. We’ve been very impressed with our young volunteers’ tech knowledge, watching as they have helped residents learn about diverse subjects. From looking up their childhood homes on Google Earth and doing the weekly shop to adding silly features to their photos to help respond to their grandchildren’s funny messages, there’s nothing they haven’t been able to help with!
The young volunteers tell us they love meeting with the residents and helping them to learn new skills, and also enjoy learning about the residents’ lives and how the world has changed since they were the volunteers’ age. One resident recently taught some young volunteers about Commonwealth Day, and the young people were very proud of their new-found knowledge!
As well as the obvious and immediate effects to the volunteers and residents, these sessions give the young people invaluable skills they can take into their careers, such as teaching skills.
It has also been fascinating to note how quickly the residents’ and young volunteers’ confidence has grown, and exciting how sharing stories, experiences, and skills in a supportive environment has facilitated this. It really has been possible to see all of these positive changes in just a few weeks, and we believe that the sessions will have a lasting effect that will carry on beyond the end of the project.
If you would like more information about Digital Buddies or any of our other projects please get in touch – we’d love to hear from you!