Get Online With The Boro
By Rob Nichols
Monday 11 Mar 2019 14:28:00
Browse all Boro News articles
 
'Get Online With The Boro' is a partnership with Ageing Better Middlesbrough, a Big Lottery funded programme. The aim to get more people online and supported, using the Boro website. There is a free help session tomorrow afternoon at Brambles Farm Social Club, between 1 and 3pm.

Getting online chatFree drop-in events started at the Riverside and have now spread out into the community aimed at Boro supporters aged 50 and over, offering a chance to get to grips with all of MFC's internet services including our online Club Shop, Ticket Office and main club website.

It’s an opportunity to speak face-to-face with club staff about getting online with Boro and have all of your web-based queries answered. From buying tickets and doing your Boro shopping online to reading the latest club news and choosing which emails you’d like to receive from MFC and having a great chat about the Boro.

I met up with David Thomas Digital Inclusion Officer from Ageing Better and Alex Thompson Data and Internet Executive from MFC at the drop in held at Longlands Social Club last week and asked them all about Get Online with Boro

Fly: Could you tell us about the ideas behind these sessions?

AB: It is to bring the Boro to the communities to the people that might not be able to get to the ground. Or feel there is a little bit of a disconnect or it could be due to transport or they cannot afford to go to the matches. This is about how they can connect to the Boro through the digital membership.

So they might not have a digital membership already or they might have one but are not quite sure how it works. So, it is a case of showing them what they can do on it. How they can log on, get connected and what they can do.

Fly: Have you found that people can have difficulties, perhaps even simple problems going online with Boro?

Boro: Yes in a way, obviously we are in the ever-changing digital world we don’t want to be excluding anyone by pushing to digital. There’s a take that the older generation isn’t so TEC savvy, so we don’t want them to feel we are excluding them, we want to give everyone equal opportunities to learn what we do and how we do it. Obviously we have different services at the football club, whether it be ticketing, the shop or just general news articles that are now online. So, we just want to give everyone an opportunity to show them what we can do and get them involved. So, we are all engaging together.

Fly: The launch session was at the Riverside but now you are going out into the community, is that correct?

Boro: We don’t want people feel we are excluding them so we don’t want to make people have to come to us, we will come to them. If it easier for them to stay in their local community, it is easy enough for us to come out and have whatever equipment we need and easy enough to show them and once they are set up they hopefully don’t need our assistance but we are always there if they do need us.

Fly: You have a lots of laptops here for people to use and I suppose people can bring their own phones and devices too.

Boro: Yes and they can bring their own devices. So if they want to come with their phone, ipad etc and we can show them how to use it on their phone or tablet. We have laptops here that Ageing Better bring across. So, it is just having everything they need or that they want and then showing them the services on that and then they can move forward with it.

Fly: It has surely got to be easier sitting next to someone one to one and showing them on a screen or their own device than trying to explain over the phone?

Boro: Yes exactly, so they can see it at first hand. They get to see everything we can do and what we have. If they have any questions when we are there, they can ask it. It stops them from having to come to the stadium to buy tickets or even to go to the shop to buy retail, they can learn how to do it online and everything can get delivered. It is easier for them.

Fly: Hopefully, if we get to the play off final at Wembley then these sessions could make such a difference.

Boro: Yes, last year in the play offs it was online only for ticket sales initially so that is a cut-off for certain people because if they don't have a digital account and haven't linked their ticket in they can't buy tickets. So what we want to do in the eventuality that we do get to the play offs is make sure that everyone is ready to go and it is all available. They know how to use the service, the service is all set up correctly and then it is as easy as it can be.

Fly: From Ageing Better point of view is this one of your online services?

AgeingBetter: Yes, one of our aims of the project of Ageing Better Middlesbrough is to reduce loneliness and isolation. My part in that is to help reduce that through connections through IT through technology, whether that is a smart phone or laptop or anything like that. So, linking in with the football club is brilliant because we can help our membership. Anyone over 50 that is a member of Ageing Better as well, they can get connected to the club and find out it is well extra thing they can do. We are Ageing Better Middlesbrough and this is the Boro football club so fits really well for us. Anything we can do to help the Boro.

Getting Online - boro shirtAnother thing to note is that in for our membership transport is always a massive issue, so getting to the Riverside and watching the matches might be very difficult for them because of transport and their mobility, so them having the chance to connect with the club, either coming to a social club like this and meet people and being at home and being able to catch up with the news whether it is online or just buying some merchandise is fantastic and something they weren't able to do before or maybe they thought that they couldn't do that without having to go to the Riverside.

Boro: People have a strong affection for Middlesbrough. If people just want to come along and have a chat and talk about football and it is nice to be able to interact with people on that basis really rather than just come to the game watching the football it is nice to be able to engage with our supporters and get their take on it as well.

Fly: It is a social thing as well.

Boro: Yes it is and they like that as well. Especially at the Riverside session we did, everyone was happy, we had the refreshments and it was just a nice experience all round for everyone.

Future Get Online sessions are available at

Tues 12th March 1-3 Brambles Farm Social Club

Tues 26th March 1-3 Cargo Fleet Social Club

Tues 4th April 1-3 Hemlington Social Club





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