aka “Get veteran Jacks and Jennys an iPad”
Project Semaphore is an RNA initiative to get ‘digitally isolated shipmates’ online by providing those eligible with an iPad and training on how to use it. The project is funded by the Aged Veterans Fund, and managed by RNA Central Office.
To qualify for an iPad Veterans must be aged over 65, and have served in the RN, RM, Reserves, WRNS, QARNNS, RNXS etc. A full RNA member qualifies. There is no requirement regarding length of service, reason for discharge, pension etc. A naval veteran not in the RNA qualifies and could be sponsored by their local RNA branch. Widows of Naval veterans who would have qualified are also entitled to apply. Potential candidates should not currently be on-line themselves. They may have a family member who does email for them or other service – this does not preclude from them getting their own iPad.
Potential candidates can apply for an iPad by contacting Sarah Clewes, the Project Manager at RNA Central Office. Further information, and how to apply are available here.
Isolated shipmates can benefit from modern technology to help them connect with friends and family and regain some of their independence. People who aren’t able to make full use of the internet are thought to be £1000 worse off than those that do have access.
Some of the benefits of being online include:
- Able to communicate easily with family and friends via Skype, FaceTime, or Messenger, etc.
- Access Veterans information, such as the Branch website, Facebook, RNA Central Office or Area website,
- Use local and national online government advice and application systems, such as Dorset for You and Gov.UK
- Obtain cheaper energy, insurance, phone and broadband deals online,
- Order shopping online when unable to get out,
- Register with Doctors’ surgeries online, make medical appointments and order prescriptions,
- Access social media such as YouTube, Kindle and other E-books,
Since the project started in early 2017 there have been a number of success stories across the country where candidates have been supplied with iPads and training. Some of those benefiting are shown below………