Eastbourne’s newest silver surfers recently completed an eight-week training course to help them cope with the digital age.
The Southern Housing Group marked the completion of the computer training programme for residents at the Lakeside Court sheltered housing scheme in Hampden Park.
The training was led by Rasna Khanom, Community Regeneration Officer with the Southern Housing Group and tutors, Alan Jones and Ann Brownlow from AGE Concern Eastbourne.
During the eight weekly one-to-one sessions, residents took advantage of the training designed to help them make the most of on-line services, find out about social messaging via email and Skype and give them the confidence using a computer.
Chris Moakes said, “It is essential that older people are given the opportunity to find out what a computer can do for them. Southern Housing Group is ensuring their residents do not get left behind in the digital age and are able to access information to make informed choices, and communicate with friends and family via the web. It’s a way of getting out into the world and exploring all sorts of things even if you don’t feel like leaving home.”
Residents found that once over the initial fear of using a computer, it can be a source of fun and entertainment too, whether it’s playing computer games and puzzles or catching up with a TV programme on the iPlayer. Resident Joan Thorpe found that email can be a very useful tool.
She said, “I had won a competition in a magazine but several weeks later I had still not received my prize and letters to them had drawn a blank. Alan my tutor showed me how to send an email – I was amazed, I received an answer the same day.”
Rasna Khanom from Southern Housing Group said, “We are committed to providing our residents in sheltered housing with the skills and resources to access the internet and all it has to offer. It is important for our residents to be able to access advice and support, to get the best value deals and to avoid feelings of isolation. We have also developed a blog as on-going support for this project, through this our residents can connect with, and help each other online, regardless of where they live.”