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Learning in Lockdown

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“I always thought… technology was too complicated.”

Learning in Lockdown-Joan’s Story

Joan first came along to Fitness Food and Friends at Binbrook village hall in February 2020. Supported by the National Lottery Community Funded T.E.D programme (Talk, Eat, and Drink. Ageing Better in East Lindsay.), Fitness, Food and Friends is a community opportunity for those aged 50+ to take part in some gentle fitness, and cook up some great food together.

However; Joan had attended just three sessions, before lockdown took hold in March 2020, and the village hall was closed, and the sessions ceased.

Like many over 70’s Joan was advised to shield, and this was particularly important, as she had recently undergone cancer treatment and it was imperative Joan followed the government’s advice to protect herself.

Joan’s husband had passed several years earlier, and with no online access, Joan found herself like many people who live alone, isolated. Fortunately for Joan, relatives lived locally and were able to bring her weekly shopping and make sure she had what she needed, but the lockdown was still a lonely experience.

In the knowledge that Joan lived alone, the Magna Vitae team were sure to keep in touch with Joan with regular wellbeing calls, the team in fact made 5000 calls to residents just like Joan in the last year.

Joan like others was very grateful for the calls and appreciated the support of knowing that people were thinking of her.

Joan is a positive bubbly person and handled lockdown by keeping busy, enjoying jigsaws, crosswords and even spending time on her exercise bike. The disciple of having a routine, made the experience of being confined to her bungalow tolerable.

However, the Magna Vitae team knew getting online would help Joan to connect with her friends and family and help keep Joan’s spirits up.

The prospect of being online was initially a little daunting for Joan, and understandably she felt it would be too complicated, however, she was happy to give it a try.

The lockdowns of 2020 had prevented the physical sessions, but this didn’t prevent the Magna Vitae team from reaching out with exercises, recipes and weekly quizzes, and create an online community, and this is something they wanted to help Joan be part of.


Getting Joan online

’We are in this together’ a joint initiative between Magna Vitae and East Lindsey District Council was on hand to help Joan every step of the way.

We are in this together…

‘Looking after ourselves, looking after each other”

Working in partnership with Lincs Digital, Joan was provided with a tablet, and the team at Magna Vitae were happy to support Joan to get set up and started.

Joan was the perfect pupil, making sure she read the user guide before she even thought about switching the tablet on.

“In the early days I felt utterly clueless, yet I was determined to keep busy, and set myself the challenge of doing a little something on it each day, even if this was just having a look at the puzzles and jigsaws online” said Joan

Marko Humphrey, Fitness, Food, and Friends Nutritionist commented:

“When I dropped off an Easter goodie bag with Joan, I was surprised at how much Joan had learnt, she took great pleasure in showing me at the door, what she had learnt so far.”

Joan has now mastered zoom and can once again take part in the Fitness Fun Friends and enjoys being part of the group. The beauty of online sessions also means the group can connect more communities, giving more residents aged 50+ access to the easy to follow recipes and chair based activities as well as a good old fashioned natter.

Magna Vitae supported Joan to get started online, Joan has since continued her learning, mastering messenger and Whatsapp, so she can enjoy daily chats with her friends and family.

Between March 2020 and March 2021, Magna Vitae supported 292 residents with training and digital equipment to reduce feelings of isolation.

If Joan’s story resonates with you, and you would like help accessing or using a tablet, please call Marko on: 07767 664186

For more information on Fitness Food and Friends visit:


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