Vodafone announces two new strategic charity partners – ALONE and Active Retirement Ireland
- Vodafone invests over €2M in Hi Digital, a nationwide social partnership with ALONE and Active Retirement Ireland, to deliver online and in-person digital skills training for older people.
- Hi Digital is designed to support over 230,000 older people through a purpose-built education platform that will help to bridge the worsening digital divide experienced by older persons.
Vodafone Ireland Foundation, has announced new strategic partnerships with charities ALONE and Active Retirement Ireland to deliver a five-year dedicated, nationwide digital skills training programme called ‘Hi Digital’ for people over the age of 65.
A first of its kind in Ireland, the programme has been created to support older people who lack digital skills, through online and in person training. Topics include: understanding Smartphone features and essential online skills that help enhance daily life: Keeping in touch through WhatsApp and social media, planning trips; researching interests and hobbies; online shopping, entertainment and banking, as well as educating on online safety.
Working with NGOs, this is the only programme in Ireland of this scale that offers a blended learning approach through multiple partnerships for older people. The announcement comes as 2021 United Nations International Day for Older Persons focuses on digital equity for all ages.
With an investment of over €2million in the initiative, Vodafone Ireland Foundation hopes to directly impact over 230,000 older people and reach over 1 million people indirectly as families, friends and communities around older people are positively impacted by the Hi Digital project. In year one, Vodafone aims to directly reach 20,000 older people and it is anticipated this will grow steadily each year thereafter.
According to research, digital literacy levels in 65+ year-olds in Ireland are among the lowest in Europe, and well below the EU average (19% v 25%*), with the divide worsening for those in rural locations.
The pandemic has exacerbated this problem as it saw more communities and services move online at an unprecedented rate with many older people being effectively shut off from essential services. In addition to being disadvantaged on a practical level, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, older people have become more at risk of depression and loneliness.
Vodafone Foundation’s dedicated Hi Digital learning platform has been built with older people in mind, with programme partners Active Retirement Ireland and ALONE supporting in the creation of content that will be relevant and useful in the day to day lives of older people. Available from today at www.hidigital.ie the platform is made for beginners and will support those helping older people get online, self-learners, and by partners delivering the project.
Participants can work through the programme online at their own pace, or can take part in group classes or one to one mentoring which will be rolled out nationally in the new year. Interest can be registered through the website or the dedicated number:1800 203030.
The programme will be delivered and facilitated by grassroots volunteers from Vodafone Ireland and Foundation, Active Retirement Ireland and ALONE in a number of ways:
• Face-to-face with Active Retirement Ireland /ALONE volunteers
• Small group training
• Virtual training
If you are an organisation that supports older people and want to avail of the training for yourself and/or colleagues, please register your interest via the link HERE and fill out our form ‘Hi Digital Train the Trainer Programme for Digital Skills’. Please note the workshops will begin in January 2022 and there may be some spaces available to individuals who wish to participate.
For any queries, drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are an older person wishing to avail of in-person training in 2022,