Collaberative Post with Post Office UK – Over the last couple of months, Post Office and Google Digital Garage have been working together to help boost digital confidence around the UK. There’s no denying that we now live in a digital age. These days, access to the internet and technology is almost essential. It’s not surprising then that almost two thirds of the UK felt they could do with some help boosting their digital skills. That’s where the Post Office and Google came in, and the Post Office Digital Drop-in was born.
The Post Office and Google Digital Garage held a series of events accross the UK. Last month, I was invited to attend the which took place in Hackey Central Library, London.
Heading to London was pretty exciting for me. I’ve only been once before, but I absolutely love it there. It’s such an amazing, vibrant city – I get such a buzz from the place. On my previous trip to London I’d only really stayed in the center of London, so visiting Hackney was a new experience. I managed to navigate public transport and find my way to the venue OK. I did walk the wrong way when I got off the train, but I quickly realised my mistake and made it to the venue only a few minutes late. Pretty good for me, considering my usually abysmal time keeping! Hackney Central Library, which is set within a larger building alongside Hackney Museum and a Learning Center, is a great wee library. It really was the perfect spot for the event.
When I arrived (a few minutes late), I was greeted by Lily from the post office, who was just as lovely in person as she was in her emails. We had a quick chat about the event and what was going to be happening, which was great. Fellow bloggers Debs from Super Busy Mum, and Gemma from That Belfast Girl were also helping out at the event, and it was absolutely lovely to meet them. During downtimes in the event we all had a chance to chat about our personal experiences with digital & tech, which was really interesting, and a lot of fun.
Now as the event was a ‘drop-in’, we weren’t following a programme of information or anything. The idea was that people would drop in (as the name suggests) whenever they wanted, with any tech question they may have. The relaxed nature of the event meant people could pop in with a quick five minute question, or sit down to a more in depth session. There were biscuits and drinks laid out, and the whole thing felt very open and friendly.
I’m very tech savvy, and I guess I take that for granted. I forget that things I do on a regular basis with my phone and laptop may not be so easy for others. I think that was the real eye opener for me. People weren’t coming to us looking for help with overly complicated things, a lot of them simply wanted more confidence sending emails or using their phone. Confidence doing tasks that I take for granted every day.
I got talking to a lovely lady from Ireland. She’d brought her mobile phone with her, and all she wanted to know was how to send a txt to her sister. She had a computer at home which she could send emails on, and she had taken a computer course to help her use it, but with her smartphone she just wasn’t sure. Within ten minutes she’d learned how to message her sister, and how to look at and send emails on the go. She left feeling confident about using her phone, which was great to see. Some of the other problems which came up were people needing some help with anti-virus software, and one of the other bloggers taught someone how to take a screen shot on an iphone which went down a treat. In a previous session, a lady had simply wanted to know how to do online food shopping, so that she could have a bit more independance and not rely on family any more.
What struck me was the different types of people coming in. It wasn’t just older people looking for advice, there were people of all ages and backgrounds looking for help on a range of different topics. The best thing about the sessions was that everyone left happy. Everyone left feeling more confident, which is exactly why the Post Office Digital Drop-in was created – to help people feel more digitally confident. Because the sessions were drop in, people could have advice tailored to them. It wasn’t a case of going along and receiving generic computer advice; People could ask questions about specific things and go away having learned something useful for them. The guys from Google Digital Garage did a great job with the queries, and all in all the event was very well run. I hope the Post Office and Google will continue to team up, because what they are doing really is vital. It was a great thing to be a part of!
I was compensated for my time spent at the Post Office Digital drop-in – all words are my own.