SILSDEN-based seniors hae been sharpening their tech skills thanks to free Tea and Tablet sessions organised by Friends of Silsden Town Hall’s ‘Cobbydale Connected’.

The new scheme, in partnership with Worth Connecting, aims to help reduce loneliness and isolation for older residents by giving them the confidence to use technology to connect with their family and friends.

Cobbydale Connected was set up by volunteers from Silsden Town Hall on the back of the positive uptake in their tablet loan scheme.

The volunteers invited Worth Connecting to provide a training programme to accompany the tablet scheme.

The programme started on May 25 and will continue to run for several weeks.

Over the course of seven sessions, group members are taught essential tech skills like how to use email, how to download apps, and how to keep themselves safe online.

Group attendee, Mildred, said: “They’ve been very useful sessions, it’s helpful to have someone come to sit with you in a small group. It’s informal and there’s input from the volunteers that’s helpful.”

Ann, a regular attendee, said: “It’s nice to have someone sit with you to show you how to do things. It’s a safe environment to play around with your tablet. I’d say to anyone who isn’t sure about coming to not be nervous. I thought I couldn’t do it and now I turn up every week.”

Chairman of Silsden Town Hall, Paul Kilgallon, said: “The feedback from our Cobbydale Connected programme has been immensely positive.

“We’re grateful for the partnership with Worth Connecting, who have provided telephone and face-to-face training.

“Our fantastic tablet loan scheme is due to the generosity of the Keighley Community Health Grant, supported by Give Bradford, The BG Campbell Trust Fund and Power to Change, which enabled us to purchase over 15 tablets for Silsden residents above the age of 55.

“We look forward to continuing to offer IT training sessions and expand our tablet loan scheme so that more Silsden residents can have access to technology and feel confident when using it.”

The Tea and Tablet training scheme is set to renew again later this summer.

Tablets, which come with internet access, are also available for loan for any Silsden - or surrounding area - resident above the age of 55.

“Anyone who wishes to participate in the free tablet training, or would like to loan a tablet, can do so by contacting Silsden Town Hall on 01535 959561 or by emailing: