GALLERY: Pensioners click with computers

PUBLISHED: 10:53 08 April 2014 | UPDATED: 15:45 08 April 2014

MP Steve Barclay presented certificates to older people who have completed IT course at Bradshaw Court, March. MP Steve Barclay playing air hockey with residents Becky Lilly and Dolly Trowler.Picture: Steve Williams.

MP Steve Barclay presented certificates to older people who have completed IT course at Bradshaw Court, March. MP Steve Barclay playing air hockey with residents Becky Lilly and Dolly Trowler.Picture: Steve Williams.

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Residents at a care home have been clicking with technology in a day designed to beat the fear of IT.

MP Steve Barclay presented certificates to older people who have completed IT course at Bradshaw Court, March. Left: Jim Ashton 87 yrs old and Bill Cadman 74 yrs old working on their ipads.  Picture: Steve Williams.MP Steve Barclay presented certificates to older people who have completed IT course at Bradshaw Court, March. Left: Jim Ashton 87 yrs old and Bill Cadman 74 yrs old working on their ipads. Picture: Steve Williams.

MP Steve Barclay presented residents of Bradshaw Court, March, who are in their 70s, 80s and 90s, with certificates for completing the bite sized computer course, Learn My Way.

The scheme helps vulnerable older people get online. It teaches them new skills and reduces their social isolation by encouraging them to learn together and communicate digitally with friends and family.

Joan Smith, 88, said: “Learning to shop online has been amazing as my husband doesn’t drive anymore and it’s much harder to get out and about.

“There was no pressure when it came to the course and it was really enjoyable to learn about computers.”

They’ve learnt how to browse the Internet, send email, use i-pads, play games like air hockey and shop online.

The learners have formed their own digital club and two residents have volunteered as digital champions to provide regular tuition.

Mr Barclay said: “Many of them had never used a computer before, let alone a tablet, yet they are now using the internet for online shopping, keeping in touch with family and friends and more.

“Many of us take this sort of thing for granted, but there are around 11 million people in the UK who are thought not to have sufficient IT skills.

“It is schemes like these which show that, with the right training, anyone can reap the advantages of using the internet, which is particularly important in rural areas such as ours.”

The scheme is a result of key organisations joining forces to make it happen. These include Cambridgeshire County Council’s Adult Learning team with funding via the SeNs project, Centra Care and Support and Circle Housing Roddons who run Bradshaw Court, mobile company Three who provided the initial free wireless internet access and UK Online and the Tinder Foundation for providing the Learn My Way course.

To find out about how you can enrol on the Learn My Way Course in your area, contact Nyree Scott on 07881837543.

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