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Full-time Report

ONSIDE in the words of participants


This has been amazing; I would go far as to say life altering – in fact, life giving! Prior to joining this course and being given the tablet to use I had no purpose, no outlet, no visitors either. I felt isolated and alone, my brain had become a dead space. This has felt like opening a doorway into my home through which friends have called round every week, and through this doorway I now have access to a whole new way of life, new options to investigate and experiences I can now access – and all in the comfort of my own home. I feel excited about my future and about things I can now do and the people and community I feel a part of through Onside and beyond the project itself. To say THANK YOU does not even begin to cover the level of gratitude I want to convey for this opportunity. Thank you for opening up a whole new world for me.”

"It's a good project. It gives structure to your life no matter what age you are. I have learnt a lot of new resources and apps to help my mental health. It's also helped me to help my kids too. Female, over 30, Co. Armagh
"It was great to meet other people and to know you weren't the only one who didn't know how to do things online. I have learnt so much including about using secure sites. I really enjoyed the telephone support from my Community Navigator and finding out what other opportunities are available online." Female, 56, Co. Armagh

 “The best thing was meeting other people. It took me out of my comfort zone and I met new people and was able to interact with them online. Being able to do this via Zoom in the comfort of my own home was great.”

 “First and foremost, I have to pay a well-deserved tribute to the leaders involved in delivering the ONSIDE project. Every one of them had great patience and explained everything in the simplest of terms so I/we could understand from the outset what we were getting involved in. Speaking for myself as a 74-year-old with Parkinson’s disease, diabetes and many other underlying issues including prostate problems, this was invaluable.”

“The session on keeping safe online around scams etc was really helpful especially. I have social anxiety so doing the training via zoom in the comfort of my home helped me be able to take part. I liked the fact that the “leave” button was available so I knew I could leave the meeting if I got too panicky. I didn’t end up needing to do this though.”

"ONSIDE has opened up new worlds to me." Creating community connections for disabled people www.onsideproject.org

“My confidence has increased massively in using the tablet and using the internet – before I used to feel very silly and bothersome asking family for help, but now I can do things myself. It was great being able to ask questions throughout the sessions and have the time in the one-to-one sessions to have everything explained clearly to me which really helped me learn much more.”

"The ONSIDE project has been a lifeline. It has given me the ability to stay connected with family, friends and members of my local cancer survivor group. Through the online classes, I've discovered how to use apps, spot a scam, download audio books, access free online health and wellbeing activities and also have a virtual coffee and chat with family and friends. Thank you to everyone involved in the ONSIDE team." Female, Over 50, Co. Fermanagh

“I found getting the tablet and being shown how to use it great. It’s given me a connection to the outside world and the things I enjoy when I want to. It has been a godsend as I hadn’t seen people in ages and ONSIDE came along and gave me a purpose again. It’s an amazing project.”

"I was always having to wait om family & others to help me, now I can do it myself." Creating community connections for disabled people www.onsideproject.org
"Knowing I was not alone, that other people had mental health issues improved my confidence to use Zoom and try something new. ONSIDE was a great experience, you get to meet new people and you have a bit of craic doing it." Male, 40, Co. Tyrone

 “It has opened up a new world for me through what I can do on the internet. The trainer and community navigator made the classes very interesting and talked about what they had tried which encouraged me to try certain apps too. It really has helped me.”

"It has helped my wellbeing. I don't feel as isolated anymore and it has boosted my confidence. I don't feel as lost, I feel more a part of something and supported." Female, Over 50, North West

 “I have a physical disability that affects my mobility so it was great that I could do the project from home via zoom. I had none of my usual worries about finding parking or the weather. I learnt so much on the tablet training and it was a good way to get back to socialising. It gave me a purpose and something to work towards during the week.”

"Give it a go... because not only do you learn the basics about the tablet, you learn useful information about the internet/scams, etc. You are also opening up a whole new world with the touch of a button. There is so much to connect with, that you wouldn't even dream off, and it is all in this tiny wee tablet." Female, over 40, Co. Down

“I found it very helpful, especially for my mental health and something to look forward to as I am ill myself. I also look after my husband who has cancer. I learned a lot and was so sorry when it finished.”

Being given the free tablet was a big plus. It is a simple process to get started on the project. It was new to me and when I got used to it, things started to flow really well. I have nothing but praise for the ONSIDE project.”

The convenience of the tablet pre-loaded and pre-charged was really helpful. Delivery to my home was unexpected and much appreciated. The staff who I’ve been in contact with have been superb, really helpful, friendly and nothing is too much bother.”