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

Email on your phone or tablet

Get on top of email

Friday 28 October

NB: this workshop has finished.

Improve your life in one afternoon

Email is arguably the most important internet technology, because it’s the key that opens the door to everything else that you might need – including all transactions – shopping, health, utilities, work, education, local & national government – and all social media.

Email has been with us for a long time – but it was never intended for a small screen. Although the app designers have done their best, most older people struggle with phone-sized email.

At the workshop we will unpick your experiences — whatever they are — and find solutions – so you can go home at least one rung further up the email ladder, hopefully feeling better about yourself.


See also page: Learning – courses and workshops

How to search the World-Wide Web on your phone or tablet

Find information about the cost of living crisis and how to survive it

21 October 2022

NB: this workshop has finished.

It’s not always easy on a small screen

The primary content of the World-Wide Web is information, advice, opportunities, inspiration, contact and communication — for everyday life as well as education and business. This workshop is about how you can actively search for what you need.

We will start with basic beginner-level web search, and then progress as time allows. We suggest a focus on the cost of living because it is a major concern now, but we can follow up any topic that interests the group.

Search engines have become very sophisticated — but sometimes quite challenging on a small screen. Formulating a good search query requires practice and a basic understanding of how search engines work.

Try these five cost of living search queries in the Google search engine —

Different results of course, but are they the results you would need for your search on cost of living information? If you put the same searches into other search engines (eg: Bing, DuckDuckGo) you might notice even greater differences.

If you use a small screen, you probably want to keep web search as simple as possible, and you might like to feel that you are in control — and perhaps you would appreciate results that are genuinely useful, accurate and unbiased. This workshop will help you get there.


See also page: Learning – courses and workshops

How to manage photos on your phone or tablet

Move your photos from your device to somewhere else

14 October 2022

NB: this workshop has finished.

Easy solutions to a hard problem

This workshop will tackle one of the most common problems for people who take photographs on a smartphone or tablet — what to do when the device is full — and anyway, how to manage hundreds, or even thousands, of photos.

There are many solutions for people who are not professional photographers. We will look at the easy solutions first because there is almost certainly one for you.


See also page: Learning – courses and workshops

Cost of Living for older people

Cost of Living Information Event

NB: this event has finished.

Find out where and how to get help with energy bills, food, benefits and mobile phone data

Why

The aim of this event is to provide you with information and practical support on four priority areas affected by the cost of living crisis: money, energy, food and staying connected.

  • Encourage you to claim pension credit if you are eligible
  • Help you practically to access other sources of financial support where those sources require referral by a professional, or where digital support with online forms is required.
  • To provide information about where and how you can access free or subsidised food and data connectivity.
  • To reassure you that help with energy/utility bills is available if you are struggling, and where you can go for advice if you need it.

What

  • We will start at 10:15 am with short presentations on each of the focus areas: energy, food, staying connected and money
  • This will be followed by 15 mins Q&A or open floor discussion.
  • Then you can collect a handout pack, get a cup of tea or coffee, and circulate between the tables to talk to staff, ask questions, request referrals etc.
  • We will finish at 12 pm.
  • There will be lunch for people staying on for the Digital Drop-in that starts at 1pm.

When

  • Wednesday morning 21 September, 10:15 am to 12 noonbefore the afternoon Digital Dropin.

Where

  • Mildmay Community Centre,
    Woodville Rd,
    N16 8NA
  • Transport information, map and other details at 50pd.uk/#support

Who

  • If you are 50 or better, this is for you – wherever you live.

Organised by MRS – Independent Living

Financially-related digital support afternoons – 10 & 17 August 2022

Wednesday 10 August

NB: these events have finished.

This was the first of two urgent sessions for older people who need help to apply for Council tax energy rebate or Pension Credit and cost of living payment — before it is too late to claim.

35 people turned up — most needing this extra support — so we were very busy. Even with nine helpers (including the industrious CSR team from Methods), we had not quite finished, so we will carry on next week.

We didn’t have time to make photos.

Pension Credit and the cost of living payment

Notes on applying for Pension Credit

Updated 12 August 2022

These notes and links are for learners and volunteers at our Wednesday afternoon Mildmay Community Centre drop-in.

By the way – we cannot provide financial advice of any kind; it’s not what we do.

The 18 August deadline

  • The deadline for the full £650 Cost of Living payment is Thursday 18 August 2022.
  • To get the full £650, you must have qualified for Pension Credit between 26 April and 25 May.
  • But Pension Credit applications can be backdated for three months so 18 August is the final cut-off date to start a claim for the Cost of Living payment.

If you live with someone else

  • If you live with someone else, even if that person is not your partner — you must provide information about benefits that person receives.

Pension Credit Calculator

Links for Pension Credit and Cost of Living Payment

Goverment links

Video


Are you looking for information about the Council Tax Energy Rebate? Visit our blog post Council tax energy rebate

Return of the volunteer teams – Methods – 13 July 2022

Volunteer teams from city firms have always – for least 12 years – been the most popular attraction at the digital drop-in. Then the pandemic stopped all CSR events – even before the first lockdown.

So we were delighted to welcome our first team for three years, from Methods — who provided effective 1:1 help for at least 15 older people — and incidentally reduced the pressure on our regular peer support team, so the total number helped was more than 30.