Hong Ling Gets Connected

Technology has greatly enhanced our lives in so many ways. We have never seen this as much as over the last year when we have had to ‘click and connect’ with our friends and family all over the world.

A key part in this ‘Digital Multiply’ project to bridge the digital divide and connect these advancements in technology with those who are the most vulnerable in our Chinese community- our elders.

We are currently working with Radius housing to develop an exciting pilot project to utilise the Facebook Portal+ device to connect better with our Chinese elders who are resident at Hong Ling Gardens.

We hope to install this hands-free support technology to provide a direct link with our elderly support worker and in due course, with friends and family. 

With an uncertain winter ahead in terms of the pandemic, this project provides an accessible way to keep connected even if contact may be restricted. 


Training session at the Chinese Resource Centre to introduce the devices to the elderly.  We have agreed that the device will have an appropriate ‘Chinese name’ to personalise the experience.



CWA virtual resource centre

New Virtual Space Developed

Working with leading Northern Ireland digital design firm The Flex Studio and consultancy practice LEXXER Solutions CWA has helped to design a bespoke virtual space which replicates their Belfast Chinese resource Centre. The virtual space includes a conference/lecture hall space where audiences can attend events, lectures and other education or entertainment events. It can host realistic augmented reality speakers as well as traditional audio-visual presentations. The room has been designed to host a community heritage themed schools project which will allow schools to use the space as a means of completing the course.

CWA virtual resource centre

Chinese New Year - A New Start

The projects initial concept was to use the Chinese New Year to host a virtual international event with Belfast’s sister city in China. This we achieved and gave us online resources which we have utilised in the current Belfast City Council funded project. This ‘Digital Multiply’ project gave us more time to plan and consider how technology can be used across our operations to address the digital divide . It allowed us to develop our online facilities to ‘host’ events and ‘produce’ virtual spaces which were designed to be used by older people. 

The spaces were specially designed to replicate in a virtual format the Chinese Resource Centre in Belfast which is the hub of the Chinese Community. 

Many of our older members were key players in the work  to achieve a Centre and they see it as their greatest achievement. This meant that as age, disability and then COVID isolation prevented them from using even visiting the Centre there was a real sense of loss. Using technology we have allowed them to revisit and start to reuse the Centre in a virtual way using  hand held devises. 

The project allowed us to involve older people in a safe way and expose them to technology and its benefits effecting a culture shift in the organisation.