Comfortable with Computers.
IMPORTANT UPDATE 28th May 16. As you may know CWC which started in January 14 was planned and received financial support as a two year project. It was enthusiastically received and supported
Thanks to the generosity of sponsors , careful use of resources, fantastic support from Fairfield Methodist Church and enthusiastic trainer volunteers we have extended that.
We will open weekly up to and including 19th July 16 which is the last Tuesday before the school holidays begin. We will then close and bring the project to an end in its present form.
We are not intending to leave the one hundred plus people who have been to CWC "high and dry" and hope to be able to offer phone , email and small group advice.
Many kind things have been said about CWC and a number of people have offered to pay to come but I am most reluctant to do this after the two and a half years "free".
If reading this you have any thoughts about how best CWC could support you please speak to Chris, Rachel,Maurice or me.
The final Tuesday clinic held on 19th July 16 sees regular attenders and volunteer trainers. This photo was taken by Rachel one of the trainers using Chris's tablet. Just one of the many things a computer can be used for .
The trainers have undertaken to continue to support the one hundred plus people who have come to CWC weekly over the last 30 months but in a different way ;which may include email, telephone or small group support.
Russell one of the organisers said "It's been a real priviledge to have introduced so many people to the wonders of technology . So many people who have come to us are now using technology each day in a way that suits them and enriches their life"
What are we trying to do.
The competent and safe use of a computer ensures older people are not excluded from many things a lot of us take for granted. This could include contact with relatives and friends by email or skype, or the ability to browse the internet looking for things of interest including things they may wish to buy or read (eBooks). There are many other advantages.
Older people in our community can often be isolated with relatives living many miles away. While the more confident and mobile ones may become involved with community groups and classes, this is often too big a step for many to make.
So what can we at Fairfield Methodist Church do about it.
Actually quite a lot.
The Trustees of Fairfield Methodist Church, local councillors Bisknell, Sloman & Quinn, Mr Roy Tomlin, The Bingham Trust, David Smith of Mellor & Smith , Buxton Hall Bank Trust, University of Derby Buxton and the Manchester & Stockport District of the Methodist Church (list at 5th August 2014) see the benefit of older people having and using computers and are financially supporting the project.
Note at March 2016. Since this was written in 2013/14 there are now a team of four involved with helping people become "Comfortable With Computers". Because of this much has been achieved which was not envisaged when the project started. For more details have a look at our "Blog" from the link above.
There are many reasons that competent and safe use of a computer is important, but isolation and the ability to communicate in the wider world safely, is a massive issue for older people.
The project which started in January 2014 is to hold a weekly drop in clinic over a two year period in Fairfield Methodist Church with other support provided as needed by phone or email. This is especially for older people, who are considering becoming involved with computers in their many forms and the internet, or anyone who has a computer or programme issue. The project is led by Russell Baker from Fairfield Methodist Church. This is not in competition with local businesses who offer computer services, indeed some of them are extremely supportive.
While tea or coffee is available no one bothers being much happier to continue "computing". There is no charge made to anyone requesting advice or support.
The project enables especially older people to make considered decisions and for them to decide if and how they could use any of the technological devices currently available. The idea is to have a wide range of different types of equipment available to safely use "live" with support from Russell.
This project looks to help people who initially need a trusted contact and to offer appropriate help, advice and support to take the first steps to enable them to use a computer to enhance the quality of their life.
Funding is now in place although we are still seeking further funding to be able to offer to participants a wider range of equipment.
Russell has seventeen years experience in using and helping (especially older) people to use computers. He has previously done this as a volunteer with both Leonard Cheshire and RNIB. More recently, and for some years since the referrals from these charities ceased, Russell has been helping local older people from his home.
This project will make Russell's experience available to a wider circle of local people who it is believed will benefit. This will be in comfortable and accessible premises in Fairfield Methodist Church which now has WiFi access, and at no cost to the participant.
Russell has already seen older people become "Comfortable with Computers" with many benefits which could probably be summarised in one word as "empowerment".
For further details about this project contact Russell.
Fairfield Methodist Church, Fairfield Road, Buxton SK17 7DU in the Buxton Circuit and Manchester & Stockport District of the Methodist Church of GB.