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Kent residents get to grips with new technology

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Kent residents get to grips with new technology


Published by Emma Tedman for The Hyde Group in Housing and also in Central Government, Communities, Education, Local Government

Hyde staff helping residents to get to grips with new technology. Hyde staff helping residents to get to grips with new technology.

Residents of three sheltered schemes in Kent have been getting to grips with the latest digital technology at special sessions organised by landlords, The Hyde Group. The Coffee, Cake, Gadgets & Gizmo’s sessions, provided an informal introduction to the variety of new technology available, including lap tops, tablets, smart phones and digital cameras. The events were held as part of Hyde’s innovative “Switched On” campaign which aims to encourage more residents to get online and took place to coincide with Spring Online week, a national campaign to promote digital inclusion.

The residents, aged 55 and over, were given a brief demonstration of what new technology can do and how it can be used to make everyday tasks like shopping or paying bills easier.

The events were organised by Hyde Resident Engagement Officer and Digital Champion, Steve Cable and were designed to be a fun way of encouraging residents to find out more about getting online. “Hyde is working hard to tackle digital inclusion through our Switched On campaign and these initial sessions have been well attended,” he explained. “We will now be tailoring some support for those residents who have expressed an interest to learn more, either through further sessions at the scheme or via our network of digital champions.”

Digital champions are volunteer staff and residents, recruited by Hyde to help with the campaign and show other residents how easy it is to get online. One of those digital champions is Kent resident Alan Joyce who has attended the recent events at Hardwick Court, Erith and Miller Court in Bexleyheath. Speaking after today’s event he said: “It was great to meet residents and help them discover how new technology could enrich their lives. We had lots of interest in things like Skype, which could make a huge difference to some of them and make it much easier and cheaper to keep in contact with family and friends. We look forward to returning and helping them progress.”

If you would like to find out more about the support available to help you get online and learn new skills, contact Hyde Plus on 0800 030 4424 or e-mail you can also visit

Hyde is also looking for more voluntary digital champions. You need to be reasonably confident using a computer or tablet and the internet, but more importantly have an enthusiasm to help other people. In exchange Hyde will provide training and support and it’s something great to put on your CV. If you are interested in finding out more about becoming a digital champion please email us at


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