Archive for January, 2018

Roger’s Journey: tackling technology in just 12 weeks

It is easy to feel left out when trying to understand the rapidly changing technology around us. Especially when you don’t have access to a computer or someone in your life to support your learning. Gaining digital skills, can help people feel more connected to what’s happening in their community and more confident both at work and doing everyday tasks.

Since 2011 our team of staff and dedicated volunteers have run an informal weekly drop-in class which has welcomed people of all ages from Knowle West and across Bristol to learn more about computers, the internet and technology.

A regular attendee of the class is Roger, who bought his first smartphone at the age of 75. He was referred to us by the charity LinkAge as he was hoping to meet more people. Roger has now been attending the weekly drop in for over three months and has grown in confidence in using technology in his everyday life.

Here’s how he tackled technology in just 12 weeks:

Week 1

Roger’s first session. We started with a chat about what he wanted to learn. He brought his new smartphone and we worked together to show him the basics (charging, unlocking, answering calls).

Week 2

We continued to support Roger to get comfortable with the phone, moving onto messaging, adding contacts and understanding the operating software of the device.

Week 3

Roger downloaded his first app. He then found apps for news, sport and billing for his phone provider. That afternoon he joined us at our Celebrating Age event and tried a virtual reality headset in our technology taster session. We introduced him to south Bristol social groups including a local history group and retired men’s woodworking group.


Week 4

One month in, Roger started to learn more about browsing the web and being safe online. We supported him to resolve an issue by contacting a company via their help pages online.

Week 5

We introduced Roger to Learn My Way, a free website which provides online courses in using computers and navigating the internet. We also continued to help him get the most out of his smartphone and he started to watch sport on an app when out and about.

Week 6

This was Roger’s second week progressing through the Learn My Way online courses. He also continued to browse the web with our support.

Week 7

Roger received a letter prompting him to renew his driving licence online and we helped him through the online process. He brought in photographs of his fishing success stories and we discussed how he could digitally scan them and share them online.

Week 8

We supported Roger to check his pension and savings accounts securely online. Together we also researched social clubs and art classes in his local area.

Week 9

Roger learned how to travel the world on Google Earth. We virtually toured a restaurant he visited in Malta over 20 years ago.

Week 10

We continued progressing through the Learn My Way online courses and Roger shared the news with us that he had joined a running rugby group.

Week 11

This week saw more web browsing and we started learning about online shopping.

Week 12

Roger won a ham at a local raffle so he researched cooking tips and recipes using online video tutorials.

We’re really proud of the progress that Roger has made and we’re looking forward to learning new things with him each week. Our drop-in sessions are free for the first six weeks and then just £3 per session.

We’re always keen to welcome new members and volunteers to the class, so if you’d like to refresh your digital skills or start from scratch get in touch and join us.

Celebrating Women of Knowle West

2018 marks 100 years since the right to vote was extended to some women in Britain. Activities and celebrations will be taking place across our city and country this year and we’re keen to make sure that the women of our community are recognised and remembered.

Through our recent projects exploring local history and celebrating the hidden talents and skills of local people, we’ve seen that many women in Knowle West have made great things happen in their community and beyond, and had a profound impact on the lives of others.

Beginning on International Women’s Day (8th March 2018), we’ll be gathering stories about amazing Knowle West women and creating a special Women of Knowle West gallery at

Illustration by Joff Winterhart

Do you know an inspiring woman or group of women from Knowle West?  If so, we’d love to celebrate them!

She could be well-known or known only to you. Maybe she’s a friend, relative, or neighbour. She could be someone you’ve never met, an inspiring woman who has passed away, or a historical figure.

We’re keen to hear about:

– women living, working or volunteering in Knowle West (past and present)
– historical figures with a connection to Knowle West
– groups of women
– women of all ages and backgrounds

Share a story

If you’d like to share a story, please get in touch with us and tell us:

Your name and contact details
The name of the woman / group you’d like to celebrate
Why they’re special to you (100 words or less)

You can e-mail us at, call 0117 903 0444 or text 07520 634144.

Everyone who sends at least one story will receive a free photoshoot session later this year!*


Stories: Stories will be published at They may also be displayed at Knowle West Media Centre (for example, in our annual showcase event) and feature in publications created by KWMC (such as our annual report).

Privacy: We understand that some women may appreciate being put forward for the collection but may wish to remain anonymous or keep details of their story private. We may need to seek permission from a woman or group of women before their story is included, or edit the story you have submitted to protect their privacy.

*Photoshoot: everyone who shares at least one story before 31st May 2018 will receive a free photoshoot session. We will offer at least two dates for you to choose from and dates will be confirmed soon. Photoshoots will take place at KWMC and will last approximately 15 minutes each. You will need to come ready to be photographed: make-up and styling is not included.  After the photoshoot you will receive digital copies of photographs taken during the session.  KWMC will retain the copyright of these pictures; you are welcome to print them or use them for personal use but we ask that you contact us if you would like to use them for other purposes (such as for business).

Texting: The text number is a text-only number and calls will not be connected. You will be charged your standard network rate.

Illustration credit: Joff Winterhart

Contact Us

Knowle West Media Centre
Leinster Avenue
Knowle West
+44 (0) 117 903 0444

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