Blackwood Homes and Care was founded in 1972 by Dr Margaret Blackwood MBE, a campaigner for the rights and independence of disabled people. We deliver our vision of helping people live their life to the full in the pioneering spirit of Dr Blackwood by providing high quality housing, care and support for disabled people of all ages, with over 1500 homes across all 29 mainland local authorities in Scotland.
-What will I be doing as a Digital Buddy?:
Can you help our customers feel less isolated by supporting them to use technology to connect with the wider world? We are looking for people who are confident with basic IT skills and have the patience to share your skills with people who are new and uncertain when using technology. You also need to enjoy making casual conversation and building familiar relationships. Customers are perhaps unsure how to connect to the internet, charge their device, video call a friend or do shopping online. Helping someone make a video call for the first time to family they’ve not seen due to the pandemic really makes a difference to their quality of life along with their mood and mental wellbeing.
At Blackwood we believe that using technology can significantly improve the lives of our customers. We provide care (in care homes), care at home services and tenancies to people with different support needs. Our customers have been offered a tablet which is set up with our innovative system CleverCogs. The role out of this is delivered by our Digital Skills Coaches but people continue to need support with basic IT issues to gain skills and confidence. Some customers don’t like to ask for more help, so knowing there is a wider network of buddies that can provide digital support will be very beneficial. This is where your time will be invaluable!
Due to COVID-19 this role will start remotely, providing help over the phone or a video call. As restrictions ease, you will be able to visit customers in their home. Hopefully getting to meet some of the people you’ve helped remotely.
-What will you get from volunteering?:
• Supporting your local community to join the digital age and providing them with the autonomy to run their own lives online
• The opportunity to be involved in key unforgettable digital-learning moments, such as their first video call with a much-missed family member
• By providing a friendly face and conversation, you are helping to eradicate social isolation for many
• Satisfaction that you’ve made a difference to the lives of Blackwood Customers.
• Be involved in our innovative initiatives
• Build on trouble-shooting and problem-solving skills
• Awareness and knowledge of differing accessibility and communication needs, and how to meet those needs
• Evidence of IT, communication and disability accessibility knowledge and skills for your CV
• Induction to Blackwood
• Training on the likely issues that you’ll help with to ensure you’re confident undertaking your role.
• Support throughout your volunteering. Staff will be available should you need assistance and we’ll have a regular catch up.
-What do I do next?:
Please get in touch with the Volunteering Development Co-ordinator, Zoe MacGregor to find out more. Contact Zoe at email: firstname.lastname@example.org or tel.: 07976 573745.
Or look at the website https://www.blackwoodgroup.org.uk/volunteer for more opportunities and complete the on-line expression of interest form. You will be contacted to arrange an informal discussion to find out more and talk about what you would like to do.
You can also follow Blackwood Homes and Care on social media to hear about what’s going on.