Sparko TV box tackles digital divide in Hackney

Nolly Mignol Gregory with her fellow Sparko friends and her community quilt. 

Nolly Mignol Gregory with her fellow Sparko friends and her community quilt. - Credit: Sparko

A 75-year-old Hackney woman has created an impressive community quilt showcasing members of her local Sparko group.

Sparko is a unique platform that uses a set top box and simple remote control to get older people digitally connected through their TV screen. 

The platform means digitally excluded older people, like Nolly Mignol Gregory, can socialise with friends and family and take part in health and social activities remotely. 

The 75-year-old artist made the quilt for her fellow Sparko members during storytelling sessions as part of a project called The Waiting Times. 

Each patch represents a different member of Nolly's local Sparko group.

Each patch represents a different member of Nolly's local Sparko group. - Credit: Sparko

The idea came from a discussion during a storytelling session and, the final product was unveiled in Nolly's communal lounge where the featured friends, who all met on Sparko over a year ago, travelled from across Hackney to view it.


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Nolly said: "Creative projects like this keep me going and take me away for a while, giving me a sense of purpose, especially during the colder months."

She also knits, crochets and paints. Nolly believes "you are never too old to learn a new craft". 

Learn more about the Waiting Times project at www.waitingtimes.exeter.ac.uk

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