Picture This is a new digital creative program designed to help people in later life who are experiencing digital exclusion.
The Picture This project consists of weekly creative sessions which are hosted online. Uniquely, the Mental Health Foundation is the only organisation that offers a new digital tablet, unlimited Wi-Fi 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.
“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.” – Edward (65)
“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.” – Phyllis (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.