Together with Fife Council and The Scottish Government, Sopra Group decided to organise the recent Digital Participation event held in Glenrothes, Fife on 2nd October. Sopra Group leads the Digital Participation Action Group (DPAG) Older People's Work Stream, which includes representatives from: Fife Council, NHS 24, Patient Opinion, ScotlandIS, Edinburgh University, Mydex and Virgin Media.
This event was organised to help kick-start the Older People Workstream and brought together public, third and private sector organisations with an interest in promoting digital participation for older people in support of their health and wellbeing.
Chaired by Joe Fitzpatrick, Head of Education (Communities), Fife Council, the event included speakers: Colin Cook, Deputy Director of Digital Strategy and Programmes, The Scottish Government; Charlie Anderson, Head of ICT, Fife Council and Stella Clark, Medical Director of Primary Care for NHS Fife and Clinical Lead for Mental Health Services, NHS 24.
The interactive networking/speed-dating session and main focus of the day, was introduced by Alison McLaughlin, Sopra Group's Head of Public Sector and Chair of the DPAG Older People's Work Stream. During this interactive session public and third sector organisations were able to showcase the work they are doing in support of digital participation for older people. The interactive style of the session ensured that organisations that were looking for support for their initiatives could be matched with the right private sector companies that were keen to pledge their support in the form of either practical skills (consultancy time) and/or funding or equipment.
Sopra Group's, Alison McLaughlin commented: "The event was a big success. It was great to hear of all the work already underway to get people digitally engaged in Fife. Attendees also shared knowledge and experience and some good connections were made for joining up activities. After hearing about ongoing projects, businesses and organisations pledged their support. By using a speed dating approach, we matched needs with commitments of support that will enable more over 55s in Fife to get online."
All requests made by the public/third sector organisations for support were met on the day, and Sopra Group is very pleased to have helped make this event happen and pledge our support in the way of consultancy to Fife Elderly Forum and the Disabled Persons Housing Service and by providing equipment (tablets) for Age Concern Glenrothes and Fife Employment Access Trust.
The success of the event in Fife was a great first step in promoting digital participation for older people, and Sopra Group hopes to broaden this out and expand it to include other parts of Scotland.