Students help for silver surfers

Riverside digital apprentice Alex with Mayor Anderson
Riverside digital apprentice Alex with Mayor Anderson


Riverside’s newest retirement community in Liverpool welcomed local high school students this week  to celebrate all things digital and getting online.

The housing association opened Joseph Williams Mews, its newest Retirement Living complex in the heart of Belle Vale, last month with the help of Liverpool Mayor, Joe Anderson. The scheme hosted this week’s session to mark Get Online Week following Mayor Anderson’s digital taster session at the official launch event.

Students aged 14-to-16-years-old from Gateacre School came to Joseph Williams Mews on Braehurst Way to take part in a digital session at the scheme’s community café.

Running from 12-18 October, Get Online Week is a national initiative to show thousands of people up and down the country how the internet can make their lives a little easier. The theme of this year’s campaign is encouraging people to see how the internet can make almost anything a little easier – from staying healthy or finding work, to saving money and having fun.

Dot Kelly, Riverside Area Manager, said: “It’s a great opportunity for our retirement living customers to get online for the first time and to learn to do more with their digital skills.

“Riverside is committed to helping customers engage with the digital age. Many of our newest customers are already online and many more have shown an interest in getting internet-savvy as more amenities are now available via the web and are accessible without leaving our front doors.”

Riverside’s digital inclusion activities are helping improve the prosperity and opportunities available to customers by promoting digital literacy and skills and affordable access to the internet, supporting access to online learning, promoting access to online services like money advice and home shopping, and tackling isolation of older people within our communities.

Lisa Mitchell, Community Coordinator at Gateacre School, said: “Having run our own ‘Silver Surfers’ group for the past two years, it was great to meet our new neighbours at Joseph Williams Mews. It was great to see both generations working together and learning something new.” IT Teacher, Catherine Newall, added: “The children really enjoyed working with the older generation helping them to access online services. It was a learning experience for both our students and those at Joseph Williams Mews.”

The initiative is being supported by Bauer Media Radio City and its training academy with the aim of engaging all generations within the community to get involved with the digital sessions at Riverside’s Joseph Williams Mews.

Joseph Williams Mews is Riverside’s newest retirement living development for over 55s in Belle Vale, located directly opposite the area’s main shopping complex. The scheme consists of 56 affordable rent apartments as well as 12 apartments and two bungalows available to buy on a shared ownership basis. The complex was built on the former site of Joseph Williams School (attended by Sir Paul McCartney from 1949 to 1953) in line with the Lee Valley Green Space Strategy.

With figures showing that the over 65s will account for almost 60 percent of the increase in households by 2033, last month Riverside is launching a rebrand of its sheltered housing into Riverside Retirement Living, focusing on providing safe, affordable and contemporary housing as part of a £27 million four-year investment programme.

Riverside’s Executive Director of Care and Support Leann Hearne is championing a fresh approach to retirement housing for the 50 plus generation who want great homes, with the added support that retirement living brings when provided by social landlords like Riverside.

“When I am looking for a place to stay I want a choice of contemporary design, great facilities, the option of onsite social activities and at a rate that doesn’t break the bank,” said Leann Hearne. “These are exactly the things that people look for when they are thinking about moving from their current family homes into retirement housing and this is what social landlords should be delivering.

“We know the aspirational retirement housing we want for ourselves and we want this for our customers too.”

When Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, officially opened Riverside’s Joseph Williams Mews development last month, he commented: “Joseph Williams Mews means local people can look forward to retiring in their own community surrounded by their friends and family. The modern development has transformed the area not only for the people that live there but the wider Belle Vale community with a number of facilities also open to the public too. The investment in housing for over 55s comes at a vital time and I’m delighted to have opened the stunning development.”

 For more information about Get Online Week please visit: 

PIctured above: Michael Dobie, 13,  with Eileen Finnegan during Get Online Week at Joseph Williams Mews.

Beth Anderson, 15, shows Jean Handley how to access online services
Beth Anderson, 15, shows Jean Handley how to access online services
Liverpool Waterfront