Residents of Leyburn’s Kirkwood Hall given help to get online

A1’s Tanya Cook with Rivendale residents Jean Collins and Pat Taylor.

Older people living in two extra care schemes are being shown how to get online and stay safe.

Broadacres is staging the courses Kirkwood Hall extra care scheme in Leyburn and at its Rivendale extra scheme in Northallerton.

The courses are being run by A1 Community Works, a community organisation based at the Crabtree Business Centre, near Bedale, which works in areas to improve digital inclusion, especially for the disabled and elderly who may have never previously used a computer.

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Tanya Cook, Chief Executive of A1 Community Works, explained: “We are finding that more and more older people now have either laptops or tablets that they have bought themselves or which have been provided by members of their family.

“Some take to them straight away but many others can struggle to get to grips with how they work and what they can do.

The fortnightly courses we are providing at Rivendale and Kirkwood Hall are about initially showing people the basics and setting up things like email, Skype, games and social media channels.

“We also stress the importance of staying safe online and to keep alert for phishing spams and viruses.

“It’s all about empowering individuals and the feedback we have received so far has been very positive.”

One person learning to use a computer for the first time is 80-year-old Jean Collins, who lives at Rivendale.

She says: “I have a daughter living in Canada so I want to learn how to Skype and write by email, so it’s easier to stay in touch with my family.”

Another Rivendale resident, 77-year-old Pat Taylor, says: “I have an iPad, PC and laptop and have been using computers for a while now, but I am finding the course useful as there are always new things that you can learn.”

Andy Powell, Broadacres’ Customer Services Director, said: “Digital inclusion goes hand in hand with social inclusion so we are pleased to have been able to offer these courses for some of our extra care residents, and hopefully we can expand this even further in the future.”

For more information about A1 Community Works please visit their website at www.a1communityworks.org