Digital Skills Project Digital Skills Project My experience of the Digital Skills Project In May 2021, I had an iPad but I didn’t know what to do with it. My family had tried to show me but it wasn’t sinking in. The iPad looked beautiful in the case – I used to take it out, look at it and then put it back! My sister got in touch with Carers Support Merton. They were just starting a new project for Carers like me who need a little bit of extra support to get online. Being part of the project was a totally positive experience – the tablet would still be in its case if my sister hadn’t got in touch with them. Nada, who runs the project, rang me and asked loads of questions. She explained that the Project would match me with a volunteer who would give me eight one-hour sessions. I remember saying I’d need someone with lots of patience! The Digital Champion I was matched with was so good. I couldn’t have got anyone better. I don’t usually click with people, but I did with her. She’s the perfect tutor. She’s patient and she’s happy to repeat, repeat and repeat as I don’t always get things first time. I’ve learnt so much. I hadn’t sent an email before the project, and now I can fire off an email to my sister, and I don’t have to ring her and disturb her. I thought it was all going to be so difficult to do, I don’t know why. Now, I can even do Zoom with friends and relations who live abroad. Before I was frightened, and now I’m not so much. I feel like I know what I’m looking for and I understand the apps on my iPad and what they do. We had a combination of face-to-face meetings in cafes and meetings over Zoom. I learnt a lot in that short time – I’m not afraid of the internet now. I’m happy to browse the internet looking at things I might buy and places I might go. In some ways, I feel that being part of the project has given me the key to my freedom. It’s one of the best things that has happened to me – because I did feel left behind before. It’s given me confidence, not just with the computer. The project enabled me to get out and meet someone new and go to new places, which is a really good thing because when you’re caring for someone you can get a bit isolated. I will definitely carry on using my iPad. I hope that I stay as confident as I feel now.