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Tōtara Tech Programme

21 February 2023

Blenheim is leading the way in teaching technology skills to older people and, in turn, helping to reduce social isolation issues.

The speed in which technology has advanced, especially over the past few years, is truly mind-blowing. For the younger generation, who had the opportunity to learn from a young age, it is an exciting development. But, for the older generation where new information processing is generally more challenging, it can be a source of anxiety.

For members of our Enliven Tōtara day programme in Blenheim, this anxiety could soon disappear. Team Leader, Tricia Dawson, who has worked in the technology industry for many years, is championing a technology programme with the support of two Marlborough Trusts. It is set to teach members vital technology skills for use with not just standard desktop computers, but also laptops, mobile phones, and tablets, as well as other hardware such as the UE Boom speaker.

It is hoped that it will help older people overcome their technology struggles and, in turn, will also help to reduce social isolation where technology has been a barrier to keeping in touch.

"It's good to have time to practice these things, it's easy to forget if you don't get a chance to practice." - Tōtara Club members, Joan, John & Sally.


Sessions are held once a week as part of the usual Tōtara day programme, but are optional for those that want to join in. They include one on one lessons to start, and then advance to include engagement with other members. Activities begin with familiarising members with the technology and then develop to trickier tasks such as:

• Taking pictures with tablets
• Attaching and sending photos using email
• Selecting music through apps such as Spotify
• Making/accepting Zoom calls

Can you help?

If you would like to help projects like the Tótara Tech programme to continue please consider donating today. Thank you!

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