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Posted 25 October 2023

When her youngest grandson graduated from the University of Bristol in the summer, Rita who lives in Cirencester, didn’t think she would be able to watch him receive his diploma as there weren’t enough tickets.

However, she was still able to be part of the day thanks to a Housing 21 pilot project linked to digital inclusivity.  

Rita's lives at one of the 53 schemes that are part of the pilot project that aims to connect residents through Smart TVs and Wi-Fi in communal areas. This meant that Rita was able to watch the live stream of her Grandson’s graduation ceremony on the scheme’s Smart TV.  

“I was over the moon when Gemma [Scheme Manager] said we would be able to watch the graduation in the lounge,” said Rita.  

“Even though I couldn’t be there in person, I’m grateful that I was still able to witness such an important milestone in his life.”  

Surrounded by six of her friends who also live at the Extra Care scheme, Rita began watching the ceremony at 4pm waiting patiently for her grandson’s turn.  

“He was called up at 5pm and when he walked across the stage to shake the Vice Chancellor’s hand, we all clapped and cheered. It felt like I was there, cheering him on in the crowd. I’m a very proud Grandmother,” she said. 

Rita moved to Extra Care five years ago. Her daughter saw that she was struggling with feeling lonely and suggested moving into the scheme after seeing her father-in-law thrive there.  

“One of the best things about living in Extra Care is being with friends; everyone is so friendly, and we often meet up to take part in the various activities taking place at the scheme,” said Rita. 

“It was lovely to be able to share such a special moment with them all.”

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