To help its community members become more digital savvy, Winchester-based charity Brendoncare has launched its first digital café.

The digital café opened its doors at Brendoncare Otterbourne Hill’s community hub where it will take place fortnightly on Thursday mornings.

Attendees at the launch included members of the local community, Brendoncare members and volunteers, NHS representatives and other organisations that support older people. 

Sam Agnew, Director of Charitable Impact and Community Services outlined how Brendoncare’s digital connection services have developed. This has included the recruitment of volunteer digital champions to provide peer-led support which has resulted in the Digital Café’s launch.

An expansion of Brendoncare’s digital support is planned with the recruitment of more volunteer Digital Champions and more digital cafés.

Digital Champion volunteers Lorraine Cooke and Anthony Platt also spoke about their experiences in the role and the difference they are making.

The Digital Champions help people in a number of different ways – from setting up their tablets, smart phones and laptops to helping them use social media, shop or buying tickets online or source specialist information from the millions of website pages now available.

Sam Agnew explained: “We know from engaging with our members that their confidence and ability, as well as appetite to learn digital skills, varies a lot.

“Through the Digital Café, we are offering help when people want it. Through our wonderful Digital Champions, they have support from people who are trusted and relatable, which is often the most successful way to help them become more confident.

The Digital Café is one of eleven Brendoncare clubs running in Otterbourne. 

Otterbourne Digital Café takes place fortnightly on Thursday mornings, 10:00-12:00. All are welcome to drop in for some tech help from our friendly Digital Champions. For more information telephone 01962 857099 or email clubs@brendoncare.org.uk 

Brendoncare, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, is a Winchester-based registered charity (no 326508) which provides seven care homes, extra care, community clubs and support services for older people across the south of England.

Its community services include a network of nearly 70 social clubs for older people across Hampshire and Dorset. Activities available include kurling, line dancing, seated exercise, Pilates and tai chi. Its support services include online talks on a range of topics such as How to Avoid Online Scams and Getting Digitally Connected.

For more information, visit the website: https://www.brendoncare.org.uk/community-clubs/