With many elderly people fearing the use of new technology, Salford based charity Inspiring Communities Together (ICT), has seen great success with their “Tech and Tea” courses for the last year.
The drop-in meetings are situated all over the Greater Manchester area, having tutors offering help with everything from WhatsApp to standard computer issues.
Along with the guidance in the different technology topics, there is a social setting with cakes, tea and biscuits being served to the participants.
Community Alliance’s Development Worker Andrea Whelan highlights connectivity as a key factor for having such an offer to the older generation.
She said: “Older people have got families who live far away. They want to stay connected, not only by phone but by other methods such as WhatsApp and Skype.”
Avril getting to grips with what’s app welcome to the what’s app group older people connect with technology pic.twitter.com/JqGHtr5ZIw
— ICT (@ictsalford) December 7, 2017
Citing the latent curiosity in every old person, Whelan tells of numerous interests.
“They are curious, surprisingly, about technology like iPhones, computers, tablets and being connected in new ways.
“It is really important for their well-being as well, giving them a sense worth to learn something new every day.
“It truly is fantastic to see them communicate with their relatives overseas, buy things online or find long-lost friends again. Moments like that are worth every penny.”
Even though several have been eager to learn, there is no doubt it can be a frightening thought to tread in unknown waters.
Pat Fields, 63, had owned a computer for the last ten years without having the knowledge to use it properly.
She said: “From the first week we started it was just amazing.
“We continually wrote things down, to remember each process, and before you knew it we were able to do things on our own.”
Fields acknowledged the high pace of new technology nowadays but was still inspired to keep learning.
“With so much new technology coming in now, it’s easily going over my head. But I don’t want it to do that, I want it to stay inside [sic: my head].”
After the course, every participant receives a diploma as a proof of what they have learned.
The drop-ins are situated all over Salford, as shown on the map below: