Leeds Libraries have partnered with Cross Gates & District Good Neighbours Scheme CIO to launch the first Digital Health Hub in Leeds after receiving funding from the Good Things Foundation.
This will enable Cross Gates & District Good Neighbours Scheme to embed digital support and resources into their already successful programme of activity. Support ranges from contacting friends and family over Skype, ordering repeat prescriptions, making a GP appointment online as well as using the NHS app to self –manage their long-term health conditions.
Rachel Benn, Digital Inclusion Coordinator for Leeds Libraries’ 100% Digital Leeds programme tells us what else is happening.
Ashfield Medical Practice staffLeeds Libraries are leading the city’s 100% Digital Leeds campaign, improving outcomes for everyone through digital inclusion. The focus for this partnership project has been to harness our library offer and support digital engagement and inclusion in those communal spaces where regular activities take place. This allows us to bring the skills, knowledge and digital resources of the library service to trial digital technology within familiar and informal settings. We’re working with GP practices and delivering Digital Champion training to staff teams, Ashfield Medical Practice have become the first GP Practice to become Digital Champions.
The Digital Health Hub launched in Get Online Week with over 100 people attending, many who tried activities online for the first time. People listened to Neil Diamond and Johnny Cash on YouTube, some set up WhatsApp to contact each other, others found their local GP practice online and set up their accounts to make appointments, as well as lots enjoying games! “At least with a Jigsaw app, none of the pieces can go missing!”
Their Digital Champions are inspiring people to take their first steps to getting online, sharing their own experiences of how it’s changed their lives. Feeling more connected with friends and family, finding out what’s on in the local area and even doing their banking and shopping online. “I honestly never thought in a million years I’d be using one of these things. But now you’ve got me hooked I’m not going back!”
They’ve recently introduced iPads into their monthly Birds of a Feather Dementia Café (Every Third Tuesday of the month 1.30pm-3.30pm). One particular gentleman with Dementia used to be in the Royal Navy, he often struggles with communication and frequently becomes agitated. One of the Digital Champions found a YouTube video of Royal Navy songs coupled with old photos of the Royal Navy. He instantly started tapping his feet, clicking his fingers and smiling and he came ‘alive’. It was emotional and a positive experience which resulted in him sharing stories of his days “on the ships”, smiling and laughing. It was a lovely shared experience with the rest of the group and a great example of the positive impact of digital technology in these sessions.
Providing this digital support at Cross Gates and District Good Neighbours will give members an opportunity to find out the benefits of being online, develop their digital skills and have lots of fun along the way.
Cross Gates and District Good Neighbours Scheme CIO are currently recruiting for Digital Health Champion volunteers to join the team – to find out more contact email@example.com
Thanks Rachel what fantastic opportunities.