Inclusion Lab

For real older people who do not think digitally

Updated 14 June 2024

What is Inclusion Lab?

Inclusion Lab is a Learning Together project until the end of June 2024 — and it’s for you if …

  • you are, or are becoming: economically-active, creatively-active, community-active, or perhaps just an activist
  • you would like support and guidance towards achieving a real-world goal that is not digital — and that you have already started
  • you know that you may have to navigate a few digital potholes on the road to your non-digital destination.

So far …

A small, flexible group discovering the potential of the internet to enhance their real world – for their own goals and for the group – and finding new doors waiting to be opened.

So far everyone has a different reason for being in it. Their digital competence varies a lot, but it doesn’t matter – what they have in common is a goal that represents who they are in the real world.

So far – we are pleased that the goals include challenging disadvantage and other words beginning with dis (eg- disability, discrimination).

How to join

Tell us about your real-world goal (or ask a question) in an email to

Then wait for a reply. Because we prepare learning resources for individual participants, we must know that you are coming.

What Inclusion Lab is not

Inclusion Lab is …

  • not a drop-in
  • not a course
  • not a repeat of previous ‘employability’ projects
  • not primarily about acquiring new digital skills
  • not something we expect you to do every week.

WhatsApp for digital beginners

A short course for older learners

NB: This activity has finished.

Four Monday afternoons, October & November 2023

A step-by-step practical guide to using WhatsApp on a phone – for beginners – and people already using WhatsApp – and people who do not have a smartphone.

What you will learn to do or understand

For a detailed list of WhatsApp possibilities, look at WhatsApp features. Here’s our shortened list …

  • Texts, voice calls and video calls to anywhere in the world, using an Internet connection instead of an expensive voice and SMS plan.
  • Use a phone to send photos, videos, recorded voice messages and documents.
  • Join WhatsApp groups with family or friends.
  • WhatsApp Web – do it on a larger screen if your phone is too small for comfort.
  • Learn a lot more about phones and mobile tech in general.

Our training smartphones

  • You will learn and practice WhatsApp with our training smartphones and SIM cards. You won’t need your own phone for the course (so people who don’t have a smartphone will fit in perfectly).
  • By using one of our phones, you won’t be able to do anything that might compromise your online privacy.
  • Our phones are set up identically to suit older learners.
  • When you reserve a place on the course, we also reserve a smartphone for you to use.
  • We have 22 training smartphones, so that is the maximum number of course learners.


  • Mildmay Community Centre (address, map and traval information on our home page).

How to join the course, or ask for more info

  • Email
  • Phone / text to 07423 162019

By the way

This course is similar to, but not the same as, the 2022 WhatsApp for Senior Citizens.

Friday Learn My Way

Friday afternoon Learn My Way

  • Mildmay Community Centre – September 2023 to January 2024.
  • Learn My Way is an online resource for digital beginners, people learning for the first time, people who want to learn again — and people who might not be beginners, but would like to help others who are.
  • During February 2024, we will integrate the Learn My Way project with Wednesday afternoon Digital Drop-in.

See also page: Learning – courses and workshops

Exploring digital photos

Three head-and-shoulders photographs of a young woman. The first is the original. The second is a cropped close-up with balanced colour and the background removed. The third is a desaturated monochrome version with text

Hands-on with digital photos

For creative senior citizens who want a result – at Mildmay Community Centre – Monday afternoons in June 2023

NB: this activity has finished.

This is about understanding digital photos (and other images), so that you can use them effectively. We will provide the laptops and the initial photos. Keep reading …

On this page:
LearnExperience When & whereSign up

What you will learn

Some example activities

Basic image handling refresher – how to –
  • Recognise an image file on your device.
  • Download from a website.
  • Upload to a website.
  • Attach to an email.
Simple photo editing – how to –
  • Crop and resize.
  • Adjust colour, brightness, contrast.
  • Change image format.
Specific uses – how to –
  • Optimise a photo for email, website, blog or social media.
Bonus result
  • You will learn a lot more about the World Wide Web and how to use a web browser.

What you will experience

Sign up first

NB: this activity has finished.

Learning level

  • Not suitable for digital beginners, or anyone who needs 1:1 help.
  • Main guideline: you should have an email address that you know how to use without help (that’s why sign-up is by email only).

Bring your own laptop? Ok, provided that –

  • You tell us you will bring your own.
  • You must know how to use it (please understand that we cannot provide 1:1 help with your device).

By the way

  • This is not about managing or moving your photo collection.

Organised by MRS – Independent Living (MRS-IL) – Digital Confidence project –

The 50+ Digital Email Noticeboard

Three older people outdoors, with a park and phone boxes in the background. One of them holds a smartphone so the other two can see the screen. They are all laughing.

This is the best way to keep in touch

The 50+ Digital Email Noticeboard is just a bulk information email …

  • We send the Email Noticeboard regularly, roughly every 10-14 days — if we have some information that we think would interest local older people.
  • Most of it is about what the 50+ Digital project can offer you next.
  • Some of it is about other opportunities or news that seems useful to older people.
  • The Email Noticeboard is GDPR-compliant, BCC from an MRS-IL address. Your email address is never exposed to anyone else. We don’t use data harvesters like MailChimp. We don’t track your inbox actions. We only send it to you if you want it.
  • It’s been more-or-less continuous since 2007.
  • Referrers and professionals are very welcome.

How to get on the list

We have made it as easy as possible. If you don’t receive it already, please fill in our simple web form: Get the 50+ Digital Email Noticeboard.

About 50+ Digital

Updated June 2024

On this page:
For everybody • For volunteers • For referrers

On this page:
For everybody • For volunteers • For referrers

11 January 2023 – Multigenerational at Mildmay

A young woman wearing a HausOfShee top and a much older African-Caribbean man. They are examining the contents of a SIM card pack.
Whitney, Data Bank SIM card, Walter

Social and digital inclusion in practice

Sheena Adae-Amoakoh – owner of local hair stylist HausOfShee – brought friends Akela and Whitney to help at the Digital Drop-in, 11 January 2023. Photos by Elliot Jones – based at Point Two Studio.

These community-conscious young volunteers are local entrepreneurs. Your grandchildren might know them.

Tap or click on any photo in the gallery to see a larger version, or start a slide-show (if you are not quite sure how to do that, please ask a helper).

Elliot made a lot more photos. They are all very good, but we can’t publish them all here. However – if you are in one of Elliot’s photos, we will make sure you get a copy – in your email (you might need practice opening and saving photo attachments).

This session reminded us of the Pre-Pandemic Era, when we hosted more than 700 corporate volunteers via Benefacto from 2014 until COVID wrecked everything. Those volunteers were all really impressive – and made a huge, and memorable, impact.

We think employers (or HR departments) might be regaining confidence, though no enterprise has replaced Benefacto. But we are ready to help.

Update 18 January

We are sending the photos to you by email (because downloading and managing photos is a useful digital skill for you to learn).

Daniel liked his so much, he got it printed – apparently for less than £1.

9 January 2023 – our new space for groupwork

We have moved our Friday afternoon courses and workshops to Monday afternoons in the main hall at Mildmay Community Centre – the same large space we use for the Wednesday afternoon drop-in – not the small café area we occupied last year.

As we expected, the move was an immediate success. The currrent course – Exploring the web with smartphones – was guaranteed to be full because we were able to arrange an alternative activity for the course waiting list. As it happened, everyone on the waiting list joined the course.

Right now, we have 14 training smartphones – 12 for learners, 1 for the projector, 1 contingency. We think we can double the size of smartphone courses as we learn the best way to utilise the main hall, perhaps as soon as February.