Loreburn’s Later Living residents go digital
Residents across Loreburn Housing Association’s Later Living developments for over 55s now have easy access to the internet thanks to an award from the Connecting Scotland programme and the social landlord’s commitment to digital engagement for its tenants.
The Connecting Scotland programme, an initiative designed to assist and support digital inclusion across Scotland, awarded 40 digital devices to Loreburn following its successful bid to the programme in March. The award was a well-timed opportunity as Loreburn had already begun work to install free WiFi within five of its Later Living developments across the region.
With the two initiatives coming together, residents in these developments who might otherwise have been digitally excluded, now have an opportunity to get online with free and unlimited internet access in the comfort of their homes.
Katie Kirkpatrick, development manager at Nithsdale Mills in Dumfries, said: “Our broadband installation programme is now complete and the devices will enable us to provide essential training and support to anyone in our developments who may otherwise have struggled to get online. The pandemic has taught us all how important it is to keep in touch with family and friends and these devices as well as access to the internet will make this possible for so many more tenants, as well as reduce the loneliness and isolation felt by our older people over the last year.
“Many of our residents are learning how easy it is to enjoy a video call with a loved one they might not have seen for over a year. Others are enjoying an online shopping experience – it’s fantastic.”
The electronic tablets have been provided free of charge to residents along with MiFi mobile broadband devices to stay connected when out and about.
Katie added: “Following the training of our Later Living team to become Digital Champions, we’re encouraging other colleagues, residents and families to sign up with Connecting Scotland and help support anyone who wants to learn the basics of getting online.”
Lorraine Usher, Loreburn’s chief executive, said: “Ensuring our homes and services meet modern aspirations and are designed to enable independence for longer is hugely important. I’m delighted we can support our residents in this way, and no one needs to be digitally excluded either because of low income or because they might not know where to begin.”