Bridge the Gap! trainings in Germany

photos © ISIS gGmbH

Since August 2021, the German project partner ISIS is testing the training developed within the Bridge the Gap! project in Bad Vilbel. Within the training, the participants jointly develop projects that contribute to make their living environ­ment more age-friendly. This includes in particular measures that strengthen the autonomy of older adults and promote their partici­pation in all areas of life. In addition to getting to know each other and learning units on digital tools and the concept of age-friendly environ­ments, the focus of the workshops conducted so far has been on finding ideas for their own projects. The partici­pants exchanged ideas, also with guest speakers, in parti­cular on how the offers to promote the digital literacy of older citizens can be extended.

The aim for the further work of the participants is to concretise and implement these ideas. We are looking forward to the upcoming meetings and workshops, the exciting exchange with each other and the creative projects that will be developed!

Seniors Initiatives Centre in Kaunas started Bridge the Gap!

photos © Edita Šatienė

Seniors Initiatives Centre started Bridge the Gap! Project training on August 31. The training takes place in Šilainiai and Šančiai branches of Kaunas City Public Library. 16 older citizens from Šilainiai and Šančiai districts enrolled in the training course in response to wide promotion on social media channels. The training is organized in weekly sessions for two groups of 8 people aged 70+. The first session was used to introduce the project idea and the training curriculum, to evaluate the motivation, experience and expectations of the participants and to practice joining a Zoom class. The participants also practiced the public transport App Trafi in order to find the way to the consumer electronics retail store Avitela. The second session took place there to introduce the participants to smart home technology appliances and gadgets. The third session is planned to give the participants a virtual reality experience in VR Experience Room. After taking a look at digital technologies all around us, the training will continue in the libraries until the middle of October.   

UN International Day Of Older Persons 2021

Upcoming UN Event: Digital Equity for All Ages: Connect, Respect and Protect Older People in Digital Technologies
On 1st of October (1:30 – 3:15 PM CET) the United Nations organizes a (free) online panel discussion with several speakers via ZOOM to provide a platform for multistakeholder dialogue and serve as a call to action. The #UNIDOP2021 aims for a person centered, human rights approach to ensure digital equity including adequate policies, access, digital literacy and safety for individuals of all ages.

Click here for the ZOOM invitation and link!

The first edition of our Bridge the Gap! Newsletter is online

The first edition of the Bridge the Gap! News­letter is online! In the newsletter we summarize our project goals, inform about current events in our respective regions and present our next step(s).

So far, we have collected our research findings in our national reports and assembled a shorter over­view in our fact sheet. In addition to that, we have consulted with experts and older people to help us design appro­priate training plans. Next, we will start the training test phase in all partner countries. In our work­shops, we will support older people in creating ideas, building networks and starting age-friendly projects based on their own interests and needs.

Feel free to look around our project website and to down­load our news­letter and further resources in multiple languages here.

Project presentation in the municipal library in Bad Vilbel, Germany

In Bad Vilbel (nearby Frankfurt/Main), Germany, a working group called Begegnungen digital und analog (digital and analog encounters) has come together to open up the digital world to older people. A series of events are planned over the next months to give older people the opport­unity to learn and improve their use of digital techno­logies. The series of events aims to strengthen the social parti­cipation of older people with the help of digital skills. Accordingly, the events will address topics such as video conferencing and the use of apps to take advant­age of public trans­port or online banking.

The kick-off event of the lecture series on digital topics for older people took place on 12 July 2021. Lidia Burhard from the Senior Citizens’ Office in Bad Vilbel led the event. The number of parti­cipants was limited to 40 due to Covid-19, although the interest and the number of regist­rations were much higher. Offers of the Neighbourhood Association Bad Vilbel to support older people in using digital techno­logies were presented at the event. Angelika Welscher, a volunteer of the Neighbour­hood Association, presented an overview of useful applications of digital technologies in her lecture using the example of planning a holiday trip. She also presented a variety of other helpful tips for everyday life. In addition to the lecture, Jana Eckert presented the most important information and aims of Bridge the Gap! and distributed the fact sheet to those interested. She also informed about the planned workshops to be held in Bad Vilbel and invited the audience to participate.

We are looking forward to test the BTG training in Bad Vilbel soon.

Our new Bridge the Gap! Fact Sheet is now online

The Bridge the Gap! fact sheet is now avail­able on our website! The project partners of Bridge the Gap! carried out desk research and conducted 56 interviews with experts, practitioners, stake­holders and older people to collect information on ageing and social parti­cipation in the digital era. The fact sheet presents our most important findings from this research. In addition, projects and initiatives that create age-friendly environ­ments in Europe with the support of digital tools are presented as inspiring best practice examples. On our project website, the fact sheet can be downloaded in German (DE and AT), English, Italian, Lithuanian and Dutch language.

Bridge the Gap! in Rome Municipality II

photos © Angela Pagano, Lunaria

On 15 June 2021, Bridge the Gap! has been presented during Rome Municipality II’s  3rd and 4th Age States general.  After over one year and a half of de-facto lock­down, Rome Municipality II Social policies depart­­ment organized, in the beautiful open-air Virgiliano park setting,  the 3rd and 4th age Festival, as States general to collect proposals to sup­port local age-friendly initiatives and develop­­ments. Around 100 represen­tatives of local socially engaged NGOs, groups and volunteers took part. They both reported on how they creatively reacted to the Covid pandemics, the obstacles and difficulties faced and shared their priority proposals to foster older citizens and inter-generational active citizen­­ship. In cooperation with Carla Fermariello, Social policies Counsillor, also Bridge the Gap! has been presented and inputs exchanged on its implementation within Municipality II. Given the current sub­stantial improve­ment of the Covid situation and to avoid that senior citizens get once again penalized through isolation, the gathering ended with the unanimously approved request to Rome City Govern­­ment to re-open local senior social centers as of next July 01.

Europe's Digital Decade: Commission launches consultation and discussion on EU digital principles

photo © Lunaria
Get involved in the public consultation by the European Commission! The Commission is launching a public consul­tation on the formulation of a set of principles to promote and uphold EU values in the digital space. The consul­tation is open until 2 September 2021 and seeks to open a wide societal debate and gather views from citizens, non-govern­mental and civil society orga­nisations, busi­nesses, admin­istrations and all interested parties. Find more infor­mation here.

Co-creation session to set-up the training curriculum

photo © AFEdemy
On the morning of April 8th, the Dutch partner orga­nisation AFEdemy organised an online interactive session on the proposed set-up of the train­ing of the Bridge the Gap! Project. Ten inter­viewed older adults and experts, such as older adults’ advocacy orga­nisation KBO-PCOB, SeniorTab, SeniorWeb and The Hague Library were present. They were intro­duced to the Random Spinning Wheel to present them­­selves, the use of the white­board in Zoom and a brain­­storm on relevant topics. We received suggestions, take the person for the training into account and not the age. A lot depends on the willing­­ness and motivation to learn. How to involve older adults in neigh­bour­­hood activities that are not working with digital devices yet. Work in small groups. Focus on what people actually can use, for example sometimes people don’t want to learn how to use email but only how to use Whats­App or Insta­gram. Mind the costs of digital­isation and the access­ibility of digital infra­structures. The meeting concluded with the following actions: the training will be further developed with the group. On their request, today’s participants will remain involved, either as co-trainer or as trainee. 2 or 3 groups of 4-6 persons will become active in the test training: in The Hague (Escamp and Haagse Hout) and one group in Gouda. The actual training acti­vities will start in May and be evaluated in September/October of 2021.