WhatsApp for digital beginners

A short course for older learners

Four Monday afternoons
(2 – 4 pm)
9 to 30 October 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.

Also …

  • How to protect your own privacy using WhatsApp.
  • How to manage your phone when WhatsApp starts filling it up with photos and videos.
  • Learn a lot more about phones and mobile tech in general.


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

How to join the course, or ask for more info

  • Email info@50pd.uk
  • Phone / text to 07423 162019

Your personal security and privacy

  • This is important. You will use our safety-first training smartphones and SIM cards, not your own phone (so people who don’t have a smartphone will fit in perfectly).

Drop-in internet party

Reviving a 50+ Digital tradition

The first Digital Drop-in on the month is also a party

Starting Wednesday 4 October, the first drop-in of the month will double up as a party event — same digital drop-in with bonus festivity and refreshments.

Please come with your usual drop-in hopes, aspirations and intentions.

Party MC this month (possibly every month) is DJ Mumbles. Music from the internet (that’s the digital angle).

Friday Learning Together

Fridays, 2 to 4 pm, Mildmay Community Centre

  • This is a new Friday afternoon project – September 2023 to January 2024.
  • Learning Together is for digital beginners, people learning for the first time, people who want to learn again because it’s 2023 — and people who might not be beginners, but would like to help others who are.
  • There is detailed information about this new project on page Learning Together.

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 – 50pd.uk

It’s all about fun

Florence invites everybody to her new podcast show — Florence & Friends — starting with a trailer for 50+ Digital at Mildmay Community Centre.

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 you, as a local older person.
  • Some of it is about what the 50+ Digital project will offer you next.
  • Some of it is about other opportunities or news that seems useful to older people.
  • The Email Noticeboard is GDPR-compliant. 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 September 2023

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.