Impact of the GIRDA Mentor Materials

500 English-language copies of the Mentor guidebook were printed in March 2019, and distributed to almost 100 individuals and organisations in the UK working with older people and interested in digital inclusion. Here is some of the feedback we’ve received so far:

“I think the guidebooks are a great resource for us to give to new IT volunteers, something they can take with them and have to hand during appointments when the client will be using the screen so they won’t be able to look at it online.”

Moor Allerton Elderly Care, Leeds

“I think they will be a very valuable tool…I see many older people in my outreach work when visiting the libraries and these will serve as a gentle reminder to what questions I need to be asking. I particularly like the section on ‘the right language’ – it reminds me to use simpler terminology when explaining certain functions, especially when using the iPads.”

Portsmouth City Council

“The guidebooks are very helpful for anyone keen to be a digital champion, with skills and enthusiasm, but not necessarily any training background. I have already alerted digital champions and librarians in 3 local libraries in West Lancashire, and passed on copies with very positive responses! As part of a current digital inclusion project with West Lancashire Borough Council and Citizens Advice Lancashire West, I am compiling a volunteer digital champion start-up pack, to support local community groups and venues to recruit and train digital champions. As part of this I am recommending the use of these booklets.”

West Lancashire Council for Voluntary Services

“I found the guidebooks really good, and have encouraged all our library centres to request them. I thought the language was really good and went right back to basics – a useful aide-memoire on explaining terminology on a session on digital inclusion for visually impaired that we delivered earlier today. I am hoping to use gameplay during the national Get Online Week campaign, as a hook to draw people in, or in one of our regular games afternoon sessions to look at alternative ways of playing games and connecting.”

Buckinghamshire Libraries

“The guidebooks have been well received and have been of tremendous help for those of us doing the mentoring. I have found the games book a really useful tool to get my peers to touch the screen in the right way. By playing a game they enjoy, they are learning and that is what it is all about. I think the guides are excellent and I don’t know what others think, but I think the size and way you publish them is equally important.  The guides are pocket size, which is key, as it means they are easily carried. They are also very easy to refer to.”

Orbit Housing, Thanet