Adopt a Grandparent Soars to New Heights with Help from Barclays Digital Eagles

As independent charity, Adopt a Grandparent approaches the 100,000 volunteers milestone, Barclays Digital Eagles is supporting the scheme by providing digital training to care home staff and residents to ensure they can make and maintain meaningful connections with their ‘virtual pairings’.

Barclays Digital Eagles is part of Barclays Bank’s corporate, social responsibility work, helping to teach digital skills to anyone who needs them, free of charge and in line with the Government’s Digital Skills Framework. Its online training platform includes modules on how to set up a mobile device, how to download an app and how to make a video call across a range of platforms while staying safe online – and it’s these modules and experience that have made it a perfect match with Adopt a Grandparent and its work.

Shaleeza Hasham, founder of Adopt a Grandparent, explains:
“When we started Adopt a Grandparent, it was something that had been in the works for a while but which was ultimately sped up by the pandemic. Working in the care sector, I got to see first-hand the impact of social isolation on care home residents and the difficulties in connecting them with loved ones digitally. The sad truth is that some didn’t have anyone they could connect to in that way.

“Similarly, the Digital Eagles began supporting the health and care sector at the same time, pledging to help 500 care homes across the UK to learn new digital skills to benefit both staff and residents. The Digital Eagles have set up a bespoke training page for our volunteers, ensuring they have all the knowledge and skills they need to really engage in Adopt a Grandparent and make a meaningful connection.”

Barclays Digital Eagles’ online learning platform, Digital Wings, contains over 300-hours of learning content and allows people to learn digital skills at home at their own pace. The skills it shares are important for both modern, day-to-day life and to help bridge the digital skills gap in the workforce going forward.

Shaleeza continues, “The Digital Eagles platform is giving people the digital skills to be able to engage with Adopt a Grandparent in the most meaningful and safe way, especially for those who want to take part but who may not have the knowledge and skills to use the app and set up video calls, for example.”

To help reach more people, Digital Eagles has also set up a Digital Champions programme, helping to train individuals who can then impart their digital skills within communities. Adopt a Grandparent is encouraging care home staff to sign up to be able to better help their residents make connections through the programme as well as helping to train family and friends to use digital platforms to communicate more regularly.

Shaleeza concluded: “Ultimately, this exciting partnership will see Barclays Digital Eagles go into care homes to train staff to increase their digital literacy and further spread the word of the charity – helping to pair some of the resounding 90,000 volunteers with their ‘virtual’ grandparents.”














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