Can the government end loneliness with postmen?

On the day that Tracey Crouch announces the UK government strategy to combat loneliness, Hackney elders discuss their own understanding and experiences of loneliness and isolation.

The voices belong to: Andreas, Marylin, Mimi and Sallie.

Recorded 15 October 2018 in the Dalston Eastern Curve Garden, London E8 3DF.

Join us from where you are, next Saturday

An experiment in online gatherings and workshops

Saturday 20 Oct, 2 to 4 pm

An online drop-in?

This is something we have been thinking about for several years. We don’t like the fact that our inclusive drop-in sessions do not include some of the people who most need it – people who are housebound, always or occasionally, for any reason.

What can we do about that?

Can we create an online drop-in that is tied to the real drop-in, so that everybody feels that they belong, everybody feels more connected, and everybody gets help and support if they want it?

Online gatherings with video and sound are not new. Businesses have been doing it for at least 20 years. The technology already works well. It’s available to anyone who has an Internet connection (at home or anywhere else) and a device with a video camera and a microphone. That’s a lot of people. The challenge is learning how to make it work for everybody who visits the IT drop-in, and everybody who cannot.

Right now, it’s not obvious how we could include housebound IT beginners. That’s a goal we should work towards, from where we are now – a plausible starting point, which we think could be Hangouts Meet.

Piloting Hangouts Meet

Learners on our recent mini-course G Suite apps helped to test Hangouts Meet, which we can offer as a free resource for chat, information and learning. Of course, we couldn’t test it fully because we were all in the same room! But it seems to have everything we need: business-level privacy, designed for regular scheduled sessions at which everyone can get to know everyone else, good sound quality over wifi (reasonable video too), the ability to break out to smaller group chats, participants can create their own sessions if they want to, and even the possibility of running online workshops.

So the next step is to pilot it — schedule a date and time for an open online session in which nearly everybody will be somewhere else, probably at home. We hope you can find time next Saturday to join an experimental session. Details below …

Help us test an online drop-in

  • Sat 20 October, 2 to 4 pm (it’s a drop-in, so start and finish as you please).
  • It should work on most smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktop computers.
  • If you have an account at gmail.com, seniors.org.uk or bold.org.uk – sign in to that first.
  • Then follow this link: meet.google.com/efr-jqdz-coi

More information?

If you would like more information about this idea, please email helpteam@hellohackney.net

If you would like help with your equipment, or maybe even try a dummy run, please come to one of our four drop-in sessions this week.

Silver Sunday, 7 October

A special event for Hackney’s over 50’s

A message from the Speaker of Hackney …

Sunday 7th October, 1pm – 4pm,
Hackney Town Hall – Assembly Rooms


Sunday 7th October is Silver Sunday and events will be taking place across the UK to celebrate older people.

We are inviting Hackney’s over 50’s to join us for a sing-a-long event at Hackney Town Hall. There will be a performance by the Hackney Empire Community Choir and plenty of opportunity for everyone to join in and sing a mix of songs together.

The event is free to Hackney residents aged over 50 (tickets are available for carers of any age) and there will also be refreshments, goodie bags and a raffle.

To book tickets, contact Eda on 020 8356 3591 or email speaker@hackney.gov.uk

Growing up in Hackney – now and then

Hackney elders talking with the young PEER UK ambassadors about growing up and living in Hackney.

The oldie voices belong to: Marylin, Paula, Peter, Rick, Sallie, Walter. The PEER UK voices belong to Alice, Davinia, Dela, Elise, Mariam.

Recorded 21 September 2018 at PEER UK, London N1 6QL

Ten podcast participants are sitting around table with microphones. Walter is talking. The others are looking at him attentively.

About PEER UK

Workshops for Hackney carers

Two workshops in September

1. Bowel Cancer Awareness

Friday 21 September, 10:30 am to 12:30 pm
  • Join us to learn more about bowel cancer and how it develops.
  • 9 out of 10 people survive early stage bowel cancer if spotted early.
  • The session will be highly interactive and you are free to ask lots of questions.

Click for ALL the details about the Bowel Cancer workshop


2. Smokefree Hackney information workshop

Friday 28 September, 10:30 am to 12:30 pm
  • Are you thinking of quitting for Stoptober?
  • Would you like advice on how to support a family member or friend to stop smoking?

Click for ALL the details about the Smokefree workshop


Where and how

  • Both workshops will be at 1C Mentmore Terrace, E8 3DQ
  • If you would like to attend, please contact CCS admin on 020 8533 0951 or email ccsadmin@hackneycarers.org.uk to book a place

Computer courses for beginners at Kingsland Hub

These free IT courses might be exactly what you are looking for

The courses will be at Kingsland Hub in Kingsland Road — very close to Whitmore Community Centre.

They will be run by Peter Bedford Housing Association (PBHA), who have sent us this information …


1. Introduction to Computers – Taster

‘This short taster course is for people who have not used computers before and wish to sample what computers are about before pursuing the next step. The course runs twice weekly’

  • Duration: 3 weeks (Tuesday and Thursday)
  • Dates: 25 September to 11 October
  • Time: 10 am to 12 noon

2. Next Steps into Computers

‘This course is for people who have done the Taster course and wish to continue learning’

  • Duration: 6 weeks (Tuesday and Thursday)
  • Dates: 23 October to 24 January
  • Time: 10 to 12 noon

Do it now!

We cannot answer any questions about these courses — so for more information or to register for a course, please contact PBHA as soon as possible …

  • Email: learn@peterbedford.org.uk
  • Phone: 020 3815 4100

Cloud for Community (working title)

A course for adventurous oldies

Every Wednesday morning during September

Learn how to use apps for communication – slides, flyers, poster, video calls, messaging (and maybe improve your email skills).

You will be using our classy new laptops, exploring ways to be useful with the help of simple and free software.

At 3 of the 4 sessions, we will be joined by teams of young volunteers from the City.

Finish with a sense of achievement, knowing that you have learnt something new, and a certificate to prove it.


Update 26 September

  • The course was full, and has now finished.
  • We dropped the working title in favour of a title that describes what we did — an introduction to G Suite apps (everybody with a Gmail account has most of them already, and some of you have more).
  • We might repeat it.