This is Jacqueline Kinsella’s bright idea for Galway.

Learning new skills to assist older people communicate with family and friends abroad


With an aging population and social isolation being a major problem, we hope to teach seniors to use computers and the internet to communicate with family and friends near and far.

Social isolation and depression are two major issues that affect older people, in current times. We currently have a centre where seniors can come in daily but we do not have the facilities to look after requests to assist them to communication with family and friends in the UK, USA and Australia.

We understand some of the older people’s issues and want to deliver training and assist our clients to get started and get them back connected.

We have conducted a review and there is no internet cafe in the town, which our clients could avail of.

We want to offer opportunities to learn information technology skills through intergenerational project such as classes in the use of technology for social and leisure purposes, to include: Skype, email, internet, Facebook, digital cameras, but to mention a few mediums.

We have run a smaller scale project where we had some TY students from a local school, come in a show our older clientele how to use their phones. The students gained some excellent experience of working with different people but the older clients learnt new, current and valuable skills that they could use.

We found many more users of our services bringing in Christmas gifts of mobile phones that they did not open because they did not feel confident to use the latest technology.

We found that the smaller scale project brought two very different groups of people together and both earned a lot of experience and knowledge. We feel that we could roll the project out further with the right source of funding and equipment.

We have the pool of people we want to attract coming through our doors each day but this will be a new service that we believe everyone involved will learn something new and enjoy the knowledge exchanges.