Xoserve cash boost to help Solihull’s elderly population
Older people in Solihull are being empowered to help themselves using digital technology thanks to a local charity and the generous support of a Solihull-based company, Xoserve.
Xoserve, the Central Data Service Provider for Great Britain’s gas market, chose local older people’s charity Age UK Solihull as one of its 2018/2019 charities, focusing on raising money to invest in improving IT skills for older people to help themselves.
The team at Xoserve raised an impressive £2,341 through various fundraising initiatives, including a ‘New Year New You’ well-being event, baking competitions, sweepstakes and a Christmas jumper competition.
The money has been spent on two new self-help touchscreen PCs for Age UK Solihull’s Community Advice Hub, at The Core in Solihull Library. Rather than relying on an adviser to complete online forms on their behalf, older people who access the Hub for information and advice can now use the touchscreen PCs themselves, with the help of a trained Age UK Solihull volunteer.
Age UK Solihull offers information, advice and support to older people in the Solihull borough, and the charity has delivered the Community Advice Hubs in central Solihull and Chelmsley Wood libraries since 2014. It is also a lead partner in the new community well-being service Solihull First, where alongside partner organisations, the charity offers help to anyone over 18 living in Solihull.
Often, older people approach the Community Advice Hubs after being scammed online. Age UK Solihull is trying to address this by supporting older people to become more confident using digital technology and educating them on the pitfalls to avoid them being the victim of scams. As well as receiving a practical solution to their immediate issue, clients using the self-help touchscreen PCs can also receive training on how to avoid scams.
Age UK Solihull’s Head of Information and IT, Kate Turrall, commented: “As a local charity, having the support of a company like Xoserve means a lot. We help 10,000 people a year just like Margaret, and we are delighted to be able to empower them to help themselves with our self-help computers. All our income is raised in Solihull and stays in Solihull to help local older and vulnerable people, and the money raised by Xoserve will make a real difference in the community. We are so grateful.”
Xoserve’s Health and Well-being Manager, Elaine Shannon, visited the Community Advice Hub to meet Age UK Solihull staff and volunteers, and to see the self-help PCs in action. She said: “It was fantastic to see the money that Xoserve colleagues have raised by having fun, put to such great use in our local community to keep people digitally connected and supported. In such a fast paced data driven world, it’s easy to quickly get out of touch with technology and we’re delighted to be helping Age UK Solihull to deliver such valuable services.”
Xoserve is planning to continue its fundraising for Age UK Solihull, and aims to raise money for equipment to make the charity’s services accessible for everyone, such as induction loops, voice-activated software, riser desks and magnifiers/readers.