Digital Boomers is a coalition of pioneering partners from across the public, voluntary and community sector in Essex, facilitated by the core team below
I’m Irene and I had the enjoyable job of travelling across 24 of our towns and villages in Essex to talk to older people about how they were using technology. What I found surprised and delighted me: that older people in Essex are using a lot of technology in their daily lives, but that they didn’t always recognise how much they are already using technology and digital. Moreover, very few older people, their friends and families and professionals realised just how much technology can be used in a fun way to increase people’s health, wellbeing and independence. What we found on our travels is detailed in our Digital Boomers report and people have come together to create a movement that is all about bringing individuals and organisations together to enhance the existing appetite that older people in Essex already have for tech and create more opportunities to build their skills, have fun and connect with people. My job is to constantly join up people and organisations to work together as much as possible to create opportunities to harness digital and tech for wellbeing and independence.
I’m Clare and I decided to leave my job as a chief executive in the NHS in order to expand my already extensive work in the NHS, local government, academia and the private and voluntary sectors. I help individuals and organisations uncover opportunities which may benefit from digital innovation – it can often be quite difficult for big institutions to move quickly to make new solutions available for consumers. I specialise in bringing organisations together to solve complex societal challenges and I have a very practical approach to ensuring solutions are driven on the ground. In short, I try to look at different ways of solving persistent complex problems. I love “doing” and supporting people at all levels of organisations and from all walks of life to try things differently.
Hello I’m Anita and I myself am a baby boomer, having spent all my working life in health and social care. Having elderly parents opened my eyes to the use of technology in keeping them safe, confident and supported. This also gives me peace of mind and the confidence to know that my parents can remain in their own home for longer. I want others to benefit from tech to improve their lives and keep them safe and secure while connecting to others; to stop isolation and create more independence. My role is to work with professionals and local communities to share the work around Digital Boomers, Digital Buddies and Living Smart Homes. My aim is to help the people of Essex to become even more tech savvy and utilise what is out there for them.
Hi, I’m Kay and I am working with the team at RETHINK Partners to create a social network which encourages people to comment and share information about Digital Boomers. I believe in tapping into communities and using their contacts to reach people across multiple generations. I want us to be able engage with people through social media so that we are not just broadcasting information, but capturing people’s attention and inspiring them to get involved. I also love hearing and sharing stories about how people’s lives have been improved through technology and how organisations are working together to help people live better and more independently. As a daughter and a mother, I feel privileged to be able to help older generations become more tech aware and to learn from my children on how to integrate it into our daily lives.
Hi, I’m Patrick and I’m working on the Digital Buddies and Living Smart Homes programmes. Having worked for 33 years for a large multi-national company, I retired in 2016 and have been enjoying my time offering 1-to-1 computer training. As a bit of a ‘geek’ who enjoys teaching others how to use technology, I was lured out of retirement by this project, which I’m finding fascinating! There are two sides to my role as Digital Buddies Co-ordinator. Firstly, I find locations for drop-in centres, help find & work with Digital Buddies & arrange training. For Living Smart Homes I am working with colleagues in Epping and Harlow and our partner Alcove to determine which technology can help older people and people with disabilities live more independently in their own homes.
I’ve been involved in Digital Boomers since day one because I see first-hand in my job and personal life how digital can open up opportunities for people with the right support and balance of human interaction. My name is Jemma and I’ve been working in the charity sector for 14 years where I’ve been responsible for the delivery and management of volunteering programmes within health and social care services across the east of England. I’m CEO of Rainbow Services. We are an Essex charity that works to alleviate the effects of disadvantage, deprivation and social exclusion. We have a range of imaginative projects that support, enable and develop people and organisations which stimulate beneficial change in our local communities. I’m passionate about helping older people in our communities to live better, happier and more independent lives. Rainbow Services is part of the team collaborating to deliver the Digital Buddies and Living Smart Homes programmes.
As a chief executive operating in the voluntary community sector, I am very excited about the positive impact digital is beginning to have in our communities. Being given the opportunity to become a member of the Digital Boomers coalition has helped me understand and connect with many more like-minded people and exposed me to the broad range of digital initiatives that are making life easier for individuals and families. One of the most exciting opportunities we are currently involved in is the delivery of the Department for Culture Media and Sport’s Digital Inclusion Fund pilot in West Essex, where we are supporting older people and those living with a disability to become more digitally confident through a Digital Buddies programme.
Hi, I’m Nick and I am coordinating the Digital Buddies and Living Smart Homes programmes in Epping Forest, on behalf of Voluntary Action Epping Forest. I have worked on and managed local community projects and programmes for 20 years; mainly working with young people, and most recently in the field of digital media and community radio broadcasting. I have a particular personal interest in intergenerational working and shared skills-learning – and the capacity of this approach to empower people and culturally enrich local communities.
Hi. I’m Claire and I work for the care provider ECL. I am proud to have been part of Digital Boomers from the very start. What has driven me to be part of this is the opportunity to work with a great team of people who have a shared passion for digital and making things happen. I have watched the elders in my family live with dementia and chronic health conditions and had they been confident using tech, their lives and those around them could have been so much easier. My day job is working with people already in receipt of care services, many social care funded. I believe that Digital Boomers has the potential to empower people to remain independent, stay out of the care system for as long as possible and most of all enjoy life!
Hi, I’m Kate and I am coordinating the Digital Buddies and Living Smart Homes programmes in Harlow, on behalf of Rainbow Services. I have worked for Rainbow Services in an engagement role for a few years now and I was excited to start work on the digital buddy and living smart homes project this year. I’m really interested in showcasing how technology can help people to maintain their independence, reduce social isolation and loneliness and learning about the difference this makes to people’s lives.