How a Digital Angel can stop social isolation


At age 80, Vera was feeling that there was not enough for her to do anymore. She spent most of her time sitting alone and watching television, and told her daughter that she was fed up with this way of life. Her daughter bought her a tablet for Christmas as a way to try to help, thinking that if Vera could connect more with the outside world online, she would start to feel better.

Unfortunately, Vera couldn’t quite figure out how to use the tablet by herself, and her daughter couldn’t help because she doesn’t live locally. Luckily Vera found out about Digital Angels and asked how she could get involved. Emily Axel from Time to Shine tells us more about the project. 


Vera and Gail surfing the internet

Gail, a volunteer Digital Angel, began visiting Vera and helping her get to grips with using the tablet. Vera’s skills have come along quickly and she is now able to email and nurture her curiosity by learning about things online. Vera was eleven when World War II started and she had to cut her education short. She never lost a love for learning, however, and can now access information about a number of her interests.

Vera feels much more relaxed and connected to the people in her life, even though they are not geographically close to her. She doesn’t panic as often when she is on her own because she can look up information online if she is confused about something.

She says, “If people can afford to get a tablet it is worth every penny they can spend. It has so many uses – and there’s still more to learn! I can’t believe that I’ve received this help [learning how to use it] for no cost.”

Who is it for?

People, over 50, living in South Leeds, who could use technology to make new friends, connect with others, use technology to improve their health, or find out more about their local community. Meet-ups with others face to face, by hosting techy tea parties.

Anyone isolated through ill health, bereavement, caring, who live alone, or in sheltered accommodation and nursing homes.

What Digital Angels offer:

Weekly visits from a volunteer to the older person’s house

Chance to learn how to use their own, or borrowed, IT equipment such as tablets, laptops, and mobile /smart phones.

Short term mi fi – a way of connecting to the internet

What happens next:

If you know older people who you think might like to be involved with this service please get in touch.

What can you do?

The scheme is on the look-out for new volunteers, particularly older people and female volunteers, who would like to visit people in their homes, to help at events, or develop resources.

Want to know more? Contact Morag on or phone 0113 389 3017

About betterlivesleeds

Health, social and age-related care services working together to make Leeds the best city for health and wellbeing
This entry was posted in Active ageing, Age Friendly, Information, loneliness, Social Isolation, Time to Shine and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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