Online Superheroes

Searching for online superheros – fighting the good fight against loneliness in older people.



In response to the loneliness that older people are telling us that isolation is causing them Toynbee Hall is delivering a new digital buddies scheme – supporting older people to get online, and learn how to get involved with things they’ll enjoy using the internet.


The scheme works by matching an older person with a buddy who will be their go to person for questions and support using the internet, as well as their tour guide- helping them experience the things they previously enjoyed offline, online. This might mean watching a streamed theatre production together, playing chess or scrabble against each other online or using the dectetive instincts they’ve developed from reading mystery novels to problem solve their way out of an escape room together. Or it could be sharing a cuppa over skype and talking about Eastenders. We know that supporting older people to enjoy the internet takes sustained support – not just one off help to set up a profile. So we want our volunteers to get the best training and support they can – so they can make a real difference.


We have 15 volunteers who are keen to get started and between them we think they can support 45 older people. What we need now is someone who is great with technology and great with people to get them started.


We are looking for one or several volunteers to design the following training units, and deliver them as a recorded online webinar and as saveable guides for our volunteers, and as worksheets for older people who want to refresh their knowledge independently.


• Your offline life online – How to support older people to access the stuff they enjoy online.

• Keeping it simple – what are the basics and how can you communicate them? (including maybe some step by step worksheets we could send to people to remind them how to logon, connect to wifi etc)
• Teething problems – how to supportively help people problem solve with tech (without disempowering them – particularly use of free remote access support)
• Supporting online ettiquette – how to chat on social media. Public vs Private chats etc
• Scams, issues and online safeguarding (how to support older people to be safe online – including volunteer conduct)
Please contact Sam.Crosby@toynbeehall.org.uk if you want to get involved.