A beep signals the power-up of the computer. The screen brightens and the mouse and keyboard are at the ready, waiting for the user to make the next move.

For the many Affordians that took part in Get Online Week (19th to 25th October), having an understanding of how to use technology to access a wealth of information from across the globe, helps grow their independence and skills for life.

Thanks to Be Connected grant funding, mature aged clients and residents across many Afford sites increased their digital confidence, learnt new skills with technology and the awareness of staying safe online. The Be Connected initiative empowers individuals to use and have an awareness of the internet and technology to benefit their lives.

Greg and Brett from Mt Druitt Community Centre participated in the site’s Be Connected morning tea. Along with delicious pastries and treats, the two men and their peers were supported by staff to learn about connecting with their friends and others online. They completed a range of modules as part of the program and Brett gave a big thumbs up for all the skills he had learned.

At NSW’s Jamisontown Community Centre, lunch and afternoon tea provided the energy hit all the clients needed to learn more about technology during their Be Connected session. Staff talked with clients about the reasons why they use technology. Many commented that they like playing games and to connect with friends on Facebook. Staff also realised that many clients do not regularly engage with technology and the benefit the Be Connected program would have on developing their life skills. During the program, there was also discussion about online safety and safely using smart technology.

Bexley Community Centre clients also held an afternoon tea with the scrumptious treats the perfect accompaniment to learning about technology and online safety. Worrigee Supported Accommodation, Guildford and Green Valley Community Centres also held their own Be Connected events.

For the residents of Narellan, Narellan Vale and Glen Alpine Group Supported Accommodation, their Be Connected event was held at Enzo’s Cucina at Macarthur Square. Completing modules via laptops, residents were supported to learn more about navigating the online world – all while waiting for their food to arrive.

Residents from the Butterflies, Empire, True Blue, Sunshine, Panthers, Bluebird, Billabong and Dolphin Cove homes had a wonderful time learning new IT skills. They developed their skills in using a smartphone, tablet or iPad, as well as computers and laptops.

Moving north to our Waterford home in Queensland, residents joined with others to enjoy a meal at the local club while talking about using technology and the internet. They discussed the many ways we can stay connected by using technology, being aware of online risks and how best to use technology for everyday life.

Thanks to Be Connected funding, Affordians across Australia are more digitally aware and confidence with using technology.



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