Samuel’s story: From digitally clueless to connected

Samuel's mental health and isolation was almost unbearable, until he found support to get online and learn to use technology. Now he's digitally connected and helping others through volunteering.

Samuel Robertson, 72 year old Londoner, was “ignorant about technology” and using the internet, until he got digital support from Skills Enterprise, a Digital Inclusion Hub supporting marginalised communities in London.

Life before digital access…

Samuel felt life was “horrible and very boring” before he found support to get online. He felt lonely and limited to himself, lacking connections with loved ones abroad and with the outside world. 

“If I didn’t have this support, I might’ve been dead. I was so bored and sad.”

Everything gradually moved online, but Samuel did not. He struggled to understand technology and use devices like computers and tablets. He felt isolated and frustrated. He wasn’t able to stay in touch with his daughter and grandchildren abroad because he wasn’t always able to afford topping up his phone to use the internet.

When he finally found support to get online…

Samuel felt a lot more at ease once he was introduced to Skills Enterprise. He realised he needed help in developing his digital skills so he could comfortably use the internet and necessary technology to stay connected with society. 

With all learning moving online, Samuel discovered Learn My Way. He began with the basics of computing and emailing, using the platform to build his skills and confidence. Now he also knows how to avoid scams and stay safe online.

Alongside support with digital skills, Samuel was provided with a tablet and free data from the National Device Bank and National Databank

“Learn My Way was the starting point, as it taught me how to use the internet and computers. The data I’ve been given helps me make all my appointments and do my shopping. Everything is online and now I can do it.”

Thanks to the free tablet and data, Samuel’s life has gotten much easier. He is able to shop online, book tickets to travel, book GP appointments, access online banking, and communicate with the wider world.

“This support has changed my life drastically. It’s helped me go online, make friends, use Facebook and Youtube and socialise.”

With the combined digital support of skills, data and device, Samuel can use messaging and calling apps to talk to his daughter and grandchildren in Ghana, and his sister in America, without worrying about money. He can safely and happily communicate and stay connected with loved ones, no longer feeling alone.

Now he’s a Digital Champion!

Having gained all the essential digital skills and access to the online world through free data and a device, Samuel is now a Digital Champion, helping other people get online. He helps others who are in the position he was once in, giving back to the community. 

“Now I can teach other people how to use a computer. I can go online. I am happy and more open to people. Helping other people makes me happy. Being able to help other people and pass on my knowledge to others makes me very happy.”

Related content