As the internet and technology become more and more common in everyday life, it is important that some people are not left behind.
Many people can lack the confidence to engage with new technology for the first time and some can even be fearful.
Communities 1st (formerly known as Community Hertsmere) volunteers offer computers and a cuppa to promote the use of digital technologies.
This initiative aims to bridge the gap between people and a rapidly evolving digital world.
The sessions, led by trained Digital Champion volunteers, are held on Mondays from 10am – noon and Tuesdays from 2pm – 4pm at the Radlett Community Centre, Aldenham Avenue, Radlett.
Getting people online not only offers practical assistance, but a whole host of benefits such as improved attention, communication and memory skills and less dependence on medication.
Engaging the elderly in learning activities, improves the quality of their lives and reduces the costs of health and social care.
Toni, a regular user of the service, had not used his laptop for seven years and gave up, unable to get it to work by himself.
He had some limited skills in using Google searches but with the guidance of the Digital Champion, Toni has now used his email for tasks such as getting rebate from the government and confirming airport parking.
He is now open to using other types of technology and is learning to use an iPad.
Russell, one of the Digital Champions said: “By engaging in focused, short one to one sessions that address tasks and issues that are specific to Toni’s needs, as well as gaining a wider understanding of the device, Toni has increased his confidence and willingness to try new things.”
Toni added: “I enjoy and look forward to my Tuesday session which are relatively short, focused and fun! The key element is that the sessions move at the right pace. I don’t feel overloaded with information at the end of the sessions and Russell is always happy to go over things with me when I get stuck.”
Stephen Craker, chief executive of Communities 1st, said: “A lot of learners say that learning gives them confidence and a second chance to learn things they were not able to do before. It’s the thrill of getting the brain engaged and feeling that they are still alive, still connected – still useful to society.”
If you would like to learn how to use your IT device better or know of someone who can benefit from these free sessions just turn up! No need to book.
For more information, call on 020 8207 4504 or email firstname.lastname@example.org