Picture This is a new digital creative programme designed to help people in later life who are experiencing digital exclusion.
As a response to the pandemic, the Mental Health Foundation has partnered with Lloyds to deliver the project to help people in later life who are at the lower end of a digital scale.
The Picture This project consists of weekly creative sessions which are hosted online. Uniquely, the Foundation is the only organisation that offers a new digital tablet, unlimited wifi for 3 months, art materials and tailored one-to-one digital training for all participants on the programme. By taking part in the project, people have the chance to express themselves through the medium of art within a safe online environment.
As well as letting participants explore their creativity during the course, the project is giving them digital skills which can have a big impact on their lives. It's enabling them to create better connections online with their family and friends. With continued support from the facilitators over the course of the project, we are helping people to use the internet in a safe manner.
Edward (aged 65)
I spoke with family on the device, and it was as though they were in the room, it was incredible. I have also joined Facebook and connected with people who I haven’t seen in over 40 years.
Phyllis (aged 90)
My daughter lives in Ghana and we have connected online, she is telling her neighbours she can’t believe her mother is now online and learning at the age of 90.
As the project develops, there is scope to expand to other locations in the UK and work with diverse groups of people in later life housing.
Gosia, Picture This Facilitator, said:
“The Picture This project highlights the critical importance of access to digital education and the inequality of it, especially amongst the older generation.
“As a group facilitator, I find it incredibly empowering contributing to improving digital literacy skills amongst our participants.
“This project is not only fun but gives opportunity for virtual socialising and expression through art. Giving them the basic digital skills to navigate everyday day life. e g. zoom access to a doctor or a family etc.”
The Picture This project is improving people’s mental health by increasing their social connections and by building their skills and confidence so that they can get satisfaction from the digital world.