Residents at a sheltered housing scheme in Bosham have been cruising with confidence on the information super highway.
The 23-strong group at Britannia Court Gardens, run by housing firm Hyde has been getting to grips with modern technology as part of the national scheme Get Digital which runs computer courses for older people living in sheltered housing schemes.
The government funded courses have enabled the group to learn how to send emails so they can stay in touch with family and friends as well as using the internet, watching videos, using Skype and even desiging flyers.
Organisers also provided the residents with a special computer which has a keyboard with large buttons.
Group members, who range in age from their late 60s to mid 90s have started their own computer club and last week were presented with certificates for successfully completing the course.
Margaret Cole, who will be mentoring fellow residents, said: “I am treasurer of our social club and so I learned how to create spreadsheets which means it is much easier for me to look after our accounts.”
Resident Gordon Turner said: “I started learning about computers about two years ago, but when I heard about the course I was keen to pick up some new things. I use my laptop a lot and especially enjoy watching the news on it.”
Get Digital tutor Caron (COR) Fuller said there was a good take-up for the scheme and that she had enjoyed teaching the course.
“Having the computers located in the communal lounge which incidentally has wi-fi, made a huge difference, resulting in more interaction and people being able to learn in an environment that was not ‘scary’.
“Even people not on the course started asking questions, and those with their own laptops joined in and learned new things.”
Scheme manager for Britannia Gardens Bindy (COR) Vinall (COR) said: “The course has definitely brought people together. Even those who didn’t think they could ever conquer computer literacy discovered they could pick it up. There is a sense of camaraderie amongst the residents and they are enjoying keeping in contact with their families and friends.”