Community Research Project at the Drop-in

Something you will really want to be part of

NB: these activities have now finished.

Wednesday 8 November 2023, 1-4 pm

Following up the visits on 20 & 27 September 2023.

This is a high-level, very professional research project that we have been invited to join as specialists in helping older people understand, us, or cope with digital technology – as we get older, not just right now.

In their own words …

We are committed to helping to improve things for older people, and give them a chance to contribute and have an impact. One of the ways we do this is through building relationships and partnerships with specialist organisations, such as yours. We strongly advocate the inclusion and accessibility of all individuals, businesses, organisations in user research. By including these valuable voices, we can ensure that our platforms, products and services meet the needs of a diverse group of people and communities and that we do not leave anyone behind.

With informed consent, we would like to invite people to join our community. This community will receive regular invitations to participate in future research sessions. We will offer people who take part in research a small incentive voucher, as a token of our gratitude for their time and participation.

We have stringent privacy, data handling, safeguarding and ethics protocols and policies in place to ensure the rights, welfare and dignity of all research participants.

The researchers have arranged a special Online Shopping activity for you on Wednesday 8 November. They are all remarkably young and brilliant. Worth coming for. They will also bring ‘refreshments’.

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

Making content for the web

Maker Mondays (Creative Together), 2-4 pm

For creative senior citizens who want to make a difference – at Mildmay Community Centre – Monday afternoons until November 2023.

Learn how to make content for the web

A web presence could be a website, a blog, social media, podcast, internet radio, photo gallery, or something else you think would be helpful – or all of those things. And it always starts with content.

Your content could be writing, art work, photos, video, podcast, radio, or whatever you can think of – to promote yourself, a project, or even a business idea. Or perhaps creating an online community of people you know.

We can help you with ideas like that — most Monday afternons at Mildmay Community Centre.

Do your own thing?

Other people — we are happy to have you there doing your own thing — it’s part of our plan.

Where and when

  • Mildmay Community Centre.
  • Monday afternoons – 2 to 4 pm.

Questions, comments, etc

  • Email to learning@50pd.uk

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

Food hub at Mildmay, 23 May 2023

Mildmay Community Radio

Talking about food, on the garden deck

NB: this activity has finished.

Tuesday 23 May, 2 – 3:30 pm

A sunshiny event with people involved in the Mildmay Food Hub and Community Cook-up projects.

Is that you? Come and talk to us about what you do and how the food projects help local residents.

Everyone else is welcome, especially if you volunteer at any other community food project.

Mildmay Community Radio launch, May 2023

Two community radio launches

NB: these workshops have finished.

Our plans for the launch of Mildmay Community Radio – from the garden deck of the centre – have been thwarted several times by unusually adverse weather. We can’t do al fresco radio if it’s cold or wet outside.

So we will launch it twice and you are invited to both …

  • Indoors: a pre-launch activity in the main hall, Monday 15 May, 2-4 pm.
  • Outdoors: the planned launch on the garden deck, Tuesday 16 May, 2-3:30 pm.

Pre-launch: community digital radio is easy

Monday 15 May, 2 – 4 pm

This will be a normal Monday afternoon learning event in the main hall. We will demonstrate the equipment we use for internet radio and podcasts — and hopefully convince you that this is something you could do yourself at home. Everybody can have a go.

It will be live internet radio, not a short podcast episode. The acoustics on the main hall are not good, so professional sound quality will not be on the menu – but we will at least have got something started.

We have also set up all our training phones to pick up the live stream. So you will have an easy way to listen (though not yet to phone in).

Actual launch: open air internet radio

Tuesday 16 May, 2 – 3:30 pm

We can do this on the garden deck (outside the café area) – provided the weather is on our side. The outdoor acoustics are usually excellent, and our equipment can handle most intrusive noises.

The provisional topic is Mildmay Community Centre itself – and what older people can achieve there.

What actually happens

Everyone who turns up is a part of fluid studio audience. But not all at once. We have 4 microphones, so up to 4 people can be part of the conversation – while the others wait their turn.

The conversation picked up by the microphones is streamed to an online radio server. Anyone who knows the link can listen.

By the way – here is the link: live.radiotogether.uk (when there is no live talk stream, the server just sends a loop of recorded birdsong).

Internet radio: pure digital partcipation

You don’t need any digital skills to participate. The important skills are the skills you have been learning for decades – talking and listening, sharing your life experiences as an older person who remembers life before the internet.

Got questions or suggestions?

Bring them to the Monday event.

Learn My Way, 24 April 2023

Online learning – in your own way

A workshop for senior citizens at Mildmay Community Centre – Monday 24 April, 2 to 4 pm

NB: this workshop has finished.

Learn My Way is a website of free online learning for beginners, helping you develop digital skills to make the most of the online world.

This is a new version of Learn My Way. It’s obviously intended for people who don’t have much internet experience, but it’s not just for total beginners. We think you would like it — and it’s definitely a good drop-in activity.

So here is the link » https://www.learnmyway.com/ «

About the workshop

Where and when

  • Mildmay Community Centre (main hall).
  • 2 to 4 pm (it’s ok to arrive early – the café area is a nice place to wait).

What you will do and learn

  • It’s a one-off workshop to get you started with Learn My Way.
  • You will register as a learner (for that, you will need an email address that you can access at the workshop).
  • You will understand how to use the Learn My Way modules, and follow your own  progress.
  • And you will definitely learn something new.

How to sign up

  • Signing up in advance is not essential – but if we know you are coming, we will keep your place until 2:05 pm (ie- for five minutes). You can tell us you are coming in an email to learning@50pd.uk
  • Otherwise, it’s first come – first served.

After the workshop

  • You can carry on with Learn My Way whenever you like – anywhere you have internet access.
  • Our Wednesday afternoon drop-in would be a ideal place to continue Learn My Way. You can use our laptops with the community centre wifi, and help from our volunteers.

More information


Workshop organised by MRS – Independent Living (MRS-IL) – Digital Confidence project – 50pd.uk

Apps for work and community

Learn WorkSpace for yourself or a team

A course for adventurous senior citizens at Mildmay Community Centre – Monday afternoons in March 2023

NB: This course has finished.

This is a course about being able to do something useful or essential – apps used by work teams, individual entrepreneurs and creators. You will learn the basics of Google WorkSpace – a package of apps widely used by business and non-profit organisations.

The apps are designed for teams as well as single users – and (like most workplace software now) they all run in the cloud – where you can access them from any location – as well as the computer you are using at home or in an office.

You probably access your personal email in a cloud server. Workplace software extends that kind of access to everything you do at work – vastly increasing productivity – and (a key concept) simplifying immediate collaboration with other people you work with.

This is not new – but if your work experience is not recent, you might not realise how much has changed in the last 10 years. Your tutor has been using this system since 2007, for personal use, community projects, and as a part-time employee of charity MRS – Independent Living (which uses WorkSpace for internal and external processes).

This could be right for you if …

  • You are still in the job market in some way (including self-employment, return to work after retirement, or thinking about it) – or –
  • You are a carer, expecting to resume employment eventually – or –
  • You are interested in digital skills for business, non-profit, volunteering or education – or –
  • You would like to know more about collaborative methods actually used in work places – or –
  • You are a regular user of WorkSpace email such as seniors.org.uk or bold.org.uk – or –
  • You are a regular user of Gmail.com, and would like to start using the other apps available to you.

Course level

  • This is not a highly advanced course – but it is definitely 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).

Your privacy – if you join …

  • You will not use your personal email or ID.
  • We will provide temporary WorkSpace accounts with access to all the cloud apps.

What are the Workspace cloud apps?

Below is a list of apps that we will look at during the course. If you have email at seniors.org.uk or bold.org.uk, you already have all the apps. If you use Gmail.com, you have limited personal versions of most of them.

Obviously, you won’t become proficient in all of those apps during a short course. But you will know what they are, and how to get started.


Organised by MRS – Independent Living (MRS-IL) – Digital Confidence project – 50pd.uk

Learning with laptops

How to use our drop-in laptops

A double workshop at Mildmay Community Centre – Monday afternoons in February 2023

NB: this workshop has finished.

How to be a classier laptopper

We have recently acquired more laptop computers, which will help to double the number of people who can learn effectively at the Wednesday afternoon drop-in.

This workshop will help you understand how to use the laptops (new and previous) …

  • to do all the things you have always wanted to do
    • (especially word-processing)
  • as well as some of the things you didn’t know you could do.

We will also investigate the best possible use of the space in the main hall — as we did during the last smartphone course (we discovered that we should project onto the large drop-down screen – and that community centre should upgrade the main hall wifi, which they have done).

One workshop – two afternoons

  • This will be a single workshop, spread out over two sessions.

Organised by MRS – Independent Living (MRS-IL) – Digital Confidence project – 50pd.uk