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Rethink talent management co-launches IT volunteering initiative

Talent management firm ReThink has joined forces with Marks & Spencer and care home operator Abbeyfield to create a new volunteering initiative called & lsquo;A Cup of IT’.

Designed as part of M&S’ eco and ethical programme, the initiative aims to help care home residents to enjoy the social benefits of going online, A Cup of IT will see 70 IT experts from ReThink,  M&S and its suppliers mentor 200 residents from 24 Abbeyfield care homes on the 19th November.

 The volunteers will help residents research old war stories, relive favourite sporting moments, reconnect with friends and families and view images of memorable places from their past using platforms like Google Maps, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. To promote digital inclusion once the volunteers have left, re-furbished laptops and WiFi access cards will be donated to Abbeyfield by M&S.

 Iain Blair, Managing Director of ReThink said, “Nowadays we can take the technology we use for granted. But for the older generation, many are likely to feel they are in the dark when it comes to using the tools now available. In our experience, something as simple as showing a care home resident how to Google images from their past can have a big impact. The Cup of IT event is a fantastic opportunity for us to not only show the older generation what they can do, but also leave behind the tools and inspiration to allow the residents and staff to continue making the most of the technology now available to them.”

Paul Allen, CEO for Abbeyfield commented, “The world the internet opens is a thrilling and exciting one although the opportunities it offers to older people are often overlooked. It is fantastic that such a well known and respected company as Marks & Spencer has recognised that and been willing to join us in opening up the world of the internet to so many of the older people who choose to live with us. The opportunities this presents are almost without measure – from recapturing memories of places visited and people met, to connecting with family and friends around the world. On behalf of the Abbeyfield team and the residents, I would like to express my sincere thanks to Marks & Spencer for choosing to work with us on this project.“

The 17 care homes taking part in A Cup of IT are situated in Beaconsfield, Ashford (Kent), Wimbledon, Gravesend, Sutton, Chadwell Heath and Crouch End.

A Cup of IT is part of a wider Plan A volunteering initiative that will see a 600 strong force of M&S IT executives and M&S suppliers helping local community projects on the 19th November. 

Other actives include planting 10,000 new trees at Heartwood Forest near St Albans with the Woodland Trust and working with education charity STEMNET to inspire the next generation of IT leaders at 15 schools.  


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