In early 2020, the WWA were awarded funding from the Armed Forces Covenant Trust under the ‘Removing Barriers to Family Life’ programme to supply iPads and training to members. The project aimed to connect war widow(er)s nationally and locally.
Experiences of loneliness and social isolation through widowhood are complex, therefore one of the project’s focuses was to empower members to access digital technology to open up their social networks.
An iPad was given, followed by training to ensure that those members could get online and connect to others.
Our 1st April 2020 start date was delayed due to COVID-19 and we began instead on 1st October 2020. We hoped that the worst of COVID would have been over by then…how wrong we were! The entire project was managed remotely, with all members taking part in their training online over Zoom.
Over the course of the project, we directly impacted 49 of our members.
- 37 members with brand-new iPads
- 31 members with 1-1 online training direct from the WW.it project trainers
- 2 members with 1-1 face-to-face training from 3rd party charities
- 8 members with their first-ever access to the internet from home
- 6 members who already had an iPad/device with 1-1 online training direct from the WW.it project trainers
- 4 members who received iPads to source their own local training
- A small but quality following on the WW.it project Twitter account
- 104 pages of evaluation on the entire project
- An executive summary of the project outcomes
- 4 filmed interviews with the project team and some participants for use in getting future funding and spreading awareness about the project
We hosted 5 virtual/online taster events for our new digital members:
- Coffee mornings
- iPad refresher training drop-in sessions
- General knowledge quiz
A huge thanks to the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust for funding this whole project and allowing us the extensions needed to combat all the issues COVID threw our way.
PAPERS, REPORTS & PRESENTATIONS
Click here to read our peer-reviewed paper published in the Frontiers in Psychology Journal on 5th May 2023: “Learning digital skills online: empowering older adults through one-to-one, online digital training provision”
Veterans’ Mental Health Conference held in person at The Royal College of Psychiatrists on 7th March 2023
British Society of Gerontology at their virtual conference in July 2022.
Our filmed interviews linked from the Northern Hub for Military Research YouTube channel