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Wondering how a Tech Angel could help you? Read about Joan’s experience

Alex: "And what would you say your favourite thing about participating in the project has been?"

Joan: "Oh, just the delight and relief of having somebody so competent, that I know my problems will be answered satisfactorily"

Alex Pullin , Tech to Community Connect Area Coordinator for North West Surrey and Guildford & Waverley chats to Joan, who has recently used the Tech to Community Connect service. If you’d like to know more about the service you can read more on our website Tech to Community Connect Project « Surrey Coalition of Disabled People

Alex: So, to start with, tell us a little bit about yourself.

Joan: I’m a 77 year old Widow, I live in Caterham on The Hill. I spent most of my life being a primary school teacher, and married my husband rather late in life, didn’t have children. Now, as I say, I’m a widow. But I enjoy my life very much, church is central to it. And I enjoy a wide range of things.

Alex Pullin: Fantastic. Good to hear. And how did you find out about the Tech to Community Connect project?

Joan: I think it was through a neighbour.

Alex: And what were you hoping to get out of your involvement with Tech to Community Connect?

Joan: Somebody to answer my queries, of which there were many. And when I got stuck, for somebody to help me out.

Alex: And did you get the support you were looking for?

Joan: Absolutely Yes.

Alex: Fantastic. So I take it you had a tech angel to help you with things?

Joan: I did.

Alex: And how did you find the support from a tech Angel?

Joan: Brilliant, second to none. I was really delighted to find him.

Alex: Fantastic. And what kind of things do you find yourself using your device for

Joan: Rotas, timetables, searching Google for various subjects, definitions and things I hear about that I want to find more about, emails.

Alex: That’s actually some quite complex stuff. I mean, a lot of our participants find themselves really at, you know, at the very beginning of their journey with using technology. So the fact you’re using it for rotas, and I know you’re using it for things in Excel and Microsoft Word, it’s quite some advanced stuff.

Joan: Thank you.

Alex: What would you say, has been your best experience with using technology?

Joan: Well, I think probably with getting tables and rotas and Excel things sorted.

Alex: Yeah, I think I it’s a great use for technology isn’t it? Getting those things that can be difficult to wrap your head around, and just being able to get them all straightforward in front of you. That’s great.

Joan: And also getting used to Windows 10.  Having changed from seven.

Alex: Okay. And was that quite a big change to switch between?

Joan: Yes it was.

Alex: And what would you say your favourite thing about participating in the project has been?

Joan: Oh, just the delight and relief of having somebody so competent, that I know my problems will be answered satisfactorily.

Alex: Fantastic. And do you feel like using devices in your life, whether that’s your laptop or your smartphone? Do you feel they have improved your life?

Joan: Yes, for the most part.

Alex: For the most part?

Joan: Well sometimes I get so frustrated. And I think I can’t call my Tech Angel again!

Alex: Yeah, technology definitely can get to that point can’t it?. Where it just becomes more frustrating. But I think when it’s when it’s behaving, it’s always good, isn’t it? And one other thing, I mean, the the aim of the tech community connect project is to tackle isolation and loneliness caused by digital exclusion. Would you say that since using your devices more make you feel more connected?

Joan: Yes. Yes, I think I do.

Alex: That’s good, because I know that obviously, there is the very practical side of things like with you, your rotas and your timetables, but there is also that social element of technology isn’t there? Using messaging apps or video calling and staying in touch with loved ones and friends, which is always a really big positive part of technology, isn’t it?

Joan: And since over the pandemic of course, Zoom has been a great benefit. And now as I don’t drive, contacting people, messaging people, hearing from them is so simple.

Alex: Fantastic. Yeah. Zoom has been a big thing. I think particularly when people were stuck at home. I know they were doing online quizzes and things on zoom or whole families were getting together. I know it was that one Christmas where no one could get together. So I think yeah, it’s been a benefit for a lot of people, hasn’t it?

Joan: When churches were closed, Zoom church services were a blessing.

Alex: Yes, of course. It was it was a long period where people couldn’t attend worship sessions.

Joan: Yes.

Alex: And so is there anything else you would like to say to anyone who was considering getting involved with the Tech to Community Connect project.

Joan: I would just say go for it, and be very grateful as I am.

Alex: Fantastic. That’s all great to hear. Thank you very much for your time.

Joan: You’re most welcome.


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