Keeping in touch

Community News from the Fenland Citizen, fenlandcitizen.co.uk, @FenlandCit on Twitter
Community News from the Fenland Citizen, fenlandcitizen.co.uk, @FenlandCit on Twitter

Cambridgeshire County Council has been chosen as a pilot authority for a project designed to improve the quality of life for people who may have become isolated from family and friends.

Volunteers would be invited to use a new piece of technology entitled ‘Mindings’ which has been labelled the ‘Facebook for the technology shy!’

The purpose of Mindings is to enable older people, who may not have regular contact with family and friends to stay in touch with them through the simple use of a tablet computer to which people can send photos, reminders, text messages etc.

The older person just has to touch the tablet computer screen to indicate that they have received the message – there is no logging-on or other actual typing required.

The County Council along with Central Bedfordshire Council have been selected to trial the initial phase – and we are now looking for up to 20 local older people to take part in the project.

Cambridgeshire County Council Cabinet Member for Adult Services, Councillor Fred Yeulett, said: “Mindings is a really easy to use service that lets friends and family send photos, text messages, reminders, calendar invitations, Facebook messages and much more, to a digital photo frame. It’s so simple but allows older people to have meaningful contact with their friends or loved ones, even if they live on the other side of the world.”

To get involved people need to be:

* At least 70 years of age

* Able to understand and sign a simple consent form

* Have lived in their current home for more than six months

* Have family or friends who they see less than once a fortnight

* Have friends and family who can send regular updates, message etc, depending on how the user wants to utilise Mindings

* Be willing to share their experience of the systems with the Mindings Research Team

Cllr Yeulett, added: “This is a really exciting opportunity for older people to get connected. We know using new technology can be daunting, but the Mindings services is a great way for people to stay in contact with their loved ones in a really simple but meaningful way. As well as being able to share photos and messages, it also a great way of sending reminders about important things like doctors appointments.”

For further information on Mindings, contact: Joanna Layton on (01223) 715567 or via e-mail at: Joanna.Layton@cambridgeshire.gov.uk.