Digital Lounge

Upper Norwood Library Hub (UNLH) and ClearCommunityWeb

Here is a collaborative initiative from the Upper Norwood Library Hub (UNLH) and Caspar Kennerdale who runs a local community business called ClearCommunityWeb in Crystal Palace London. The case study relates to Digital Lounge which they set up in the Spring of 2019, the project is growing from strength to strength. The team would like to thank all the organisations (listed below) who support this initiative and the amazing volunteers, the community and service users. Clear Community Web was recently awarded the ‘Best Community Fundamental Digital Skills Training Initiative – England’ by the Social Care Awards. Well done Caspar!

Upper Norwood Library Hub (UNLH) and ClearCommunityWeb – DIGITAL LOUNGE
What is ‘Digital Lounge’?

Digital Lounge supports people of all ages and backgrounds to be more digital savvy whilst socialising and building new friendships in the community. There are various elements to Digital Lounge, they include:-

Digital Skills for Seniors’ which runs every Tuesday, classes are currently oversubscribed. Many of those who attend do not want to leave because they enjoy the warmth and exciting conversations they have whilst learning how to use the computer or tackle issues they have with their laptops, phones, tablets, IT security, fraud and more. The photo below show one of the classes in session.

Then there is the very popular ‘Tea and Tech’, which is part of the Digital Lounge offer. Tea and Tech was developed closely with a local resident and volunteer, Lynn, seen below with Caspar holding her very famous basket. Lin has worked tirelessly for many years as a volunteer and is committed to promoting social and community inclusion across all ages.

Tea and Tech is a social event with an average of over 25 attendees and volunteers. There is a combination of speakers, demonstrations and socialising to help people feel safer with the internet and their mobile phones whilst enjoying a cup of tea, sandwiches, fruits and the company of others. There is also an opportunity to try using a tablet for the first time. Tea and Tech has had tremendous support from Croydon Council and One Croydon Alliance, disability charity Leonard Cheshire who led a session on assistive technology, AgeUK Lambeth, Centre 70, Croydon BME Forum, WayAhead, Paxton Green Time Bank, Kingswood Community Shop, Croydon Voluntary Action, Norwood Forum, U3A Norwood.

Another welcome addition to the Digital Lounge is a young person coding club – ‘Coder Dojo’ which regularly has an oversubscribed classroom with a 2:1 ratio of young people and volunteers/ mentors.

ClearCommunityWeb also offers network, web development and social media support, digital training and advice on a range of IT and communication tools. To find out more about UNLH and its activities, the Digital Lounge, Library of Things, then email or contact Caspar directly by phone 07523 646 277 or

You can also contact for further information about the CML National Peer Network or visit our website (we are working on content and an online forum).

Below are some quotes/case studies from beneficiaries

CASE STUDIES CASE STUDY 1: a senior resident with MS was given a mobile phone but had only ever used in for making calls. Over 3 sessions we set the phone up, texted for the first time and set up the Dial a Ride so she could track the location of drivers and felt a little safer.

CASE STUDY 2: Another local resident contacted us to help her younger brother – a male resident mid 30s with dyslexia and other learning difficulties. He comes on a weekly basis to help check for new housing opportunities (as he was recently made homeless but the council and is currently living in Queens hotel), to practice email to familiar members with the goal of starting to become more independent. His sister has commented that it is very unusual for him to keep appointments and stick to something so ‘we must be doing something right’.

CASE STUDY 3:  A senior resident & volunteer was helped to make purchasing decisions for a new mobile phone and pad to use both WhatsApp and Skype with the intention of being able to speak to her mother more regularly who in in poor health. She has subsequently gone out to Sri Lanka and ids teaching her mother how to use this for when she returns to the UK.

A Quote from a Beneficiary

“Far better no question is too basic which when learning computer skills is paramount. All classes and tech sessions are well run, very supportive and everyone learns a lot on a wide range of matters to include mobile phones and computers. All tech covered!”