Appy Christmas to help elderly in Doncaster

editorial image

Older people in Doncaster battling loneliness this festive season are set for an ‘appy’ Christmas thanks to a pioneering charity initiative.

Two charities working to combat social isolation are breaking new ground with their use of iPads and a new app in the lead-up to Christmas.

Tap Into is a specially-designed app created for older people with no or few digital skills or experience. It enables users to stay in touch with their friends and families, receive reminders and prompts from carers and community agents, and it also helps to build digital skills.

Created by project partners Rural Action Yorkshire and the People Focused Group as part of the Doncaster Community Agents scheme running throughout the area, the app is funded by Doncaster Council’s Innovation Fund and Santander Foundation with the primary aim of reducing loneliness and isolation amongst vulnerable over-65s. It was created by Yorkshire-based app developers Catalyst and is an early Christmas present for many that may be at risk of these issues over the festive season and beyond.

Tap Into can be used alongside family members, meaning that no matter how far away they may live, families can keep in touch via an easy-to-use platform offering photo, video and messaging functions.

“The beauty of this app is that older people can receive messages, photos and videos all in one place, without the need to open email, photo or video streaming software and thereby keeping in touch with their friends, family and the outside world,” said Wayne Munro-Smith, project co-ordinator.

Tap Into can connect its users on a daily basis to their families as well as their communities, and this is also helped along by the project’s ‘community agents’ who work across Doncaster to identify the most at risk of isolation.

“At what is an otherwise lonely and depressing time of year for some, Tap Into can bring early Christmas cheer in the form of increased contact with the outside world and family,” he added.

RAY and PFG are making an appeal for any old or unwanted iPads as donations to the project to roll out the scheme to even more people as the scheme is currently limited. If you can help, call RAY on 0845 313 0270.