You’re never too old to log on, says Erik

Age Concern. Silver-surfing, computer lessons for the over 50s at the Venton Centre. June 18th 2012 E25043N'(L to R): Helen Thorpe, tutor Michael Stacey, tutor Erik Starkie, Derek Boniface, and Anne Mathiot.
Age Concern. Silver-surfing, computer lessons for the over 50s at the Venton Centre. June 18th 2012 E25043N'(L to R): Helen Thorpe, tutor Michael Stacey, tutor Erik Starkie, Derek Boniface, and Anne Mathiot.

IF YOU’VE ever had the urge to try your hand at using a computer but felt too old or scared, then a course at Age Concern Eastbourne could be just for you.

The courses are run by pensioner Erik Starkie who decided to bite the bullet and learn IT skills.

“Some of certain age have an aversion to new electronic gizmos that children take to like ducks to water,” said Erik.

“I was in the waiting room at my doctor’s surgery one day and sitting opposite me was a young mum and her four-year-old son.

“She reached into her pocket and took out a mobile phone and gave it to the child. Without hesitation the boy switched it on and selected a game he wanted to play.

“He sat happily, totally content to use this now familiar electronic device to entertain himself proving to be quite dextrous and deft at manipulating pictures on the tiny screen.”

That incident prompted Erik to get involved in running computer courses.

The Age Concern Eastbourne headquarters has a refurbished dedicated IT room fitted out with six new computers for individual use in what Erik calls “a dedicated environment that has a fast connection to the internet”.

Erik said, “A beginners course is available for those with little or no experience of modern technology. The four-week course covers using a mouse and keyboard, saving your work, investigating the internet safely and sending e-mails.

“However, everyone can work at a pace suitable for each individual. If you want to transfer the photos from your digital camera onto a memory stick or PC that can be catered for as well. And AGE Concern guarantees some fun while everyone learns something new.

“Of course if you are familiar with a computer but just a bit rusty or out of date there are several times during the week when you are able to drop in and ask for help. You can bring along your own laptop if you wish and even link it to the internet via the wireless link in the Venton building. There are an enthusiastic group of volunteers who are only too willing to help.”

Erik also hopes to enlist the help from computer literate people willing help as a volunteer at one of the classes. For more information and time of the courses ring AGE Concern Eastbourne at the Venton Centre on Eastbourne 638474.