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.

Where

  • 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

By the way

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

50-Plus Device Bank – free smartphones for older people

50-Plus Digital has joined the National Device Bank scheme

15 March 2023: we have distributed all the Device Bank smartphones.

The National Device Bank

You can read about the national scheme at the main website – goodthingsfoundation.org/national-device-bank

Our local 50-Plus Device Bank smartphones

We have already distributed our first batch of refurbished smartphones — gifted to people with low incomes (eg- Universal Credit, Pension Credit, etc).

Not sure if you are eligible? Ask us!

They are all the same model — Galaxy XCover 4s — robust business phones in excellent condition — ideal for people whose primary IT needs are not recreational. With each phone, we provide a SIM card with free mobile data for at least six months.

We have set them up to be suitable for older people who might be relative digital beginners, prioritising accessibility, usability, privacy and security. Initially they resemble the devices you use on our smartphone training courses. Of course, you can do whatever you like with them afterwards, and you may expect continued support at our weekly digital drop-in.

Frequently-Asked Questions

Q1: When can I get one, and how?

A1: Find us at the weekly Digital Drop-in. For further details — keep in touch with us.

Q2: Does where I live affect my eligibiliity?

A2: For the smartphone scheme, you should be a resident of any London borough.

Q3: I’m using an old Nokia phone. Will I be able to upgrade my brain to smartphone standard?

A3: You are probably 100% eligible. Most recipients so far had an old Nokia before, and have found that smartphones are actually quite easy to use — and quick access to the internet has made their lives more cheerful.

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.

Exploring the web with smartphones

A beginner-friendly introduction course

4 Monday afternoons — January 2023 — at Mildmay Community Centre.

NB: this course has finished.

About the course

A step-by-step practical guide to finding incredibly useful things to do on the World Wide Web – and how to do them on a phone – safely and sensibly.

As always, you will start with your priorities and ambitions – and you will finish with important digital skills that perhaps you didn’t know existed.

Just as important – you will be more confident in your own ability to keep exploring and learning.

Online safety first …

For your personal security – you will not use your own device, your own email address or your own phone number as part of the course.

Everyone will use our safety-first smartphones – set up for older people who don’t have a lot of internet experience – so we can all focus together on what is really important.

You are welcome to bring your own device if you want to – but we cannot offer 1:1 help with it as part of the course.


See also page: Learning – courses and workshops

How to be Smart with a Phone

Everything you always wanted to do with a smartphone

A beginner-friendly course at Whitmore Community Centre, Friday afternoons in November 2022

NB: this course has finished.

Plus quite a lot you didn’t know you could do

Think of this as a general-purpose smartphone course where we tackle the needs and interests of everyone in the group — and introduce creative new ideas for you to do or think about.

On your phone learning menu — choose from

  • Privacy and security (because so many people have justified concerns)
  • Music and radio
  • Maps and travel
  • YouTube and other video (including making it)
  • World-Wide Web
  • Photos
  • Podcasts and other audio (including making it)
  • Health and fitness
  • BBC
  • Languages
  • Plants, trees & bird identification
  • Reporting problems to your local authority
  • Documents, slides and spreadsheets (including making them)
  • WhatsApp
  • Your suggestions …

See also page: Learning – courses and workshops

Community Learning

A diverse group of nine older people are seated at tables in a bright, sunny room. They are all studying the smartphone in their hands.

Community-based digital for older people

Updated 31 May 2024

Our learning sessions are for small groups of older people, focussing together on one topic that is important to them.

We think Groupwork is a better way to describe what we do — it differentiates us from the common Adult Education model, in which everything is predictable and pre-plannned, with an abrupt ending for learners. Our Groupwork is co-designed, co-produced and delivered entirely by older people — and can be followed up at our weekly Digital Drop-in.


Mildmay Community Centre

Current

Completed