Young people supporting older people to improve their online knowledge

  • A partnership between a care and support provider and a training organisation has seen older people receive IT training from young people.

    Twelve students aged 16-19 are providing free one-to-one support as part of work experience placements organised by training provider Develop, reports 24dash./images/happycomputer.jpg

    The training is helping residents in a Norwich sheltered housing scheme, which is run by care provider Centra Care and Support, gain new IT skills and access online services.

    Centra Care and Support hopes to help more older people in its sheltered housing schemes get IT training providers with work experience placements.

    Student Alfie Cunningham, 17, said: "If I was older, I'd like somebody to help me when I was confused about technology. I can see that if you haven't grown up with the Internet, it's like a new language. One of the residents I support is now talking about buying a tablet, so next week we'll be researching some tablets and I will bring my tablet in for him to look at. I feel like we're the dream team."

    Stanley Reynolds, 87, is a resident of Lincoln House in Norwich, one of two Centra-run schemes in Norfolk taking part in the initiative. He said: "You never stop learning. I lost all my phone numbers on my laptop the other week and it took me a long time to get them all back. One of the students showed me how to back up my information, so if anything goes wrong again, I won't have to reinstall everything. That's really helpful."

     Sue Wardell, Involvement Manager at Centra Care and Support, said: "We passionately believe that older people should be part of the digital age and run a number of training sessions in the sheltered housing schemes we manage which supports our residents improve their skills. When Develop contacted us and said that they had IT students who were looking for placements, we thought this would be a great way to extend this work. The students are really benefiting from the experience of passing on their knowledge and developing relationships with the residents as the skills they gain from experiences like these are highly sought after in the IT industry. We're now keen to find other training providers who can provide the same support to more of our sheltered housing scheme residents across Norfolk." 

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