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Online help for Churchdown's silver surfers

By The Citizen  |  Posted: January 07, 2014

Richard Williams, Volunteer Computer Teacher, with Jake Fisher at a free computer workshop held at GL3 Community Hub, Churchdown

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SILVER surfers are dipping their toes in the world wide web for the first time thanks to volunteers at the GL Community Hub in Churchdown.

Since retired civil servant Richard Williams began rolling out free one to one sessions for the over 50s he has seen a huge surge in demand.

Richard, 65, who worked in the telecommunications industry, said it is never too late to learn about computers, and is encouraging anyone who wants a few pointers to get in touch.

“I have helped people from age 50 to someone in their 80s,” he said. “Some have a basic understanding and want to learn more, others have no knowledge whatsoever and barely know what a keyboard is.

“The lessons are very rewarding and help with isolation. It opens up a new world of contacts for many people and helps them to keep in touch with family and friends.Some people are frightened about using a computer, but there really is nothing to be scared off.”

When the free classes began in 2011, 74 lessons were handed out. That number almost trebled last year. Volunteer Richard said the most common requests are for help with Skype, Facebook, Twitter and how to use the internet.

He runs the sessions on Monday and Thursday. For Churchdown residents, the first seven lessons are free, after that people must pay a £3.50 donation to the hub, as will anyone wanting a lesson from outside the area.

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  • spindles12  |  January 07 2014, 8:54AM

    If the classes are aimed at the over 50s then I'd like to know how Jake Fisher keeps himself looking so young! If you're going to show a picture with people in it and you name them you should at least give a hint as to whether they are there for lessons or to assist the "silver surfers:". By the way, not everyone over 50 has silver hair, if that's what the silver refers to. The same goes for anyone over 60 being described as "elderly", even if we are, we dont want to be reminded of it.

  • Apothegm_  |  January 06 2014, 8:04PM

    I'll bet Richard Williams isn't so patronising as to call people over 50 "silver surfers"...

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