Project information

Virtual friends

What we want to employ an Internet Volunteer Co-ordinator to train up a cohort of older people in Southwark to act as Internet Champions, training and mentoring other older people to access the ICT at the Pensioners Centre, across Southwark, and in their homes.

April 2011 - March 2014

Charity information: Southwark Pensioners Centre

Southwark Pensioners Centre logo
  • Need


    70% of older people in Southwark do not have home access to the internet or a computer or the skills to use them. The majority of our users are living in isolation, without support from friends or family, and the internet would make a fantastic tool for creating a befriending network.


    It will link people up via a virtual pensioners intranet in Southwark allowing older people to befriend each other online, meet up and socialise together. The scheme will be a virtual socail club, allowing isolated and vulnerable people to share and support each other, and sign-post each other to public and charitable services.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To initiate a comprehensive ICT peer mentoring project for Southwark Pensioners.


    » Recruit an ICT co-ordinator to train 500 pensioners over three years in beginner and advanced ICT skills at the Southwark Pensioners Centre.

    What success will look like

    Success will be...number of ICT peers recruited and retained over three years.

    Aim 2

    Recruit a cohort of 20 ICT peer mentors to teach their peers computer skills over three years.


    » Recruit and train a cohort of peer mentors at the Southwark Pensioners Centre adn elsewhere in Southwark to provide a self-sustaining programme.

    What success will look like

    Success will be...measured by reaching the target of recruiting 20 ICT peer mentors.

    Aim 3

    Design and implement pensiner ICT network on SPC website, with links to other organisations.


    » Establish ICT virtual internet community supporting frail and vulnerable pensioners in the borough, as a befriending network.

    What success will look like

    Success will be...measured by creation of ICT pensioner intranet and links to other partner organisations, and increased usage of the website by Southwark pensioners.

  • Impact


    It will increase self-confidence and self-esteem amongst Southwark pensioners, increasing their physical and mental well-being, leading to active lifestyles and active participation in their community. It will help sign-post pensioners to services provided by the public and charitable sector, including benefits advice, access to employment and training, as well as access to social activities and events. By the application of ICT, pensioners will become more active citizens.


    The main risks associated with our projects are :
    • Failure to persuade enough pensioners to take part due to risk aversion
    • Public perceptions under estimate the true scale of need in disadvantaged communities
    • Reluctance of low income pensioners to commit to attending monthly donations resulting in failure to launch new projects.
    • Pensioners withdrawing from the programme

    SPC has many years experience of running ICT projects and we will impelement a risk strategy for the project.


    Annual monitoring and evaluation report showing number pensioners involved in the ICT training project

    Regular updates on the SPC website

    Article in SPC Annual Report

    Case studies and qualitative feedback via email, telephone conversations and meetings

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £57,583

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      Amount Heading Description
      £4,200 Website Website design (4 months) & hosting (3 years)
      £3,000 Publicity Publicity for project (3 years)
      £10,920 Venue hire Hire of Resources Room at SPC (3 years)
      £8,643 Project Admin Oversight of project (3 years)
      £25,200 ICT trainer ICT professional training (2 years)
      £5,620 Materials & food Training materials & refreshments (3 years)
  • Background


    All ICT training will be based at the Southwark Pensioners Centre located at 305-307 Camberwell Road, SE5 0HQ.


    Older people living in Southwark over 50 years of age.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    SPC has a long track record of empowering older people in Southwark since it was established in 1987 and we have been providing beginner and intermediate training courses for pensioners since the early 2000's. We fundraise to pay trainers to teach pensioners ICT skills, and since 2010 we have run a pensioner peer mentoring project on Wednesday mornings. Feedback from our users bears out their support for ICT provision and we have a long waiting list of pensioners waiting to go on our courses.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Jon Morgan - Community Development Worker

    Jon Morgan is our experienced Community Development Worker who has considerably experience over 15 years of supporting pensioner develpment in ICT.