Kids to turn OAPs into silver (Internet) surfers

COMMUNITY-minded teenagers from a Hucknall school are aiming to turn pensioners of the town into ‘silver surfers’ — by teaching them how to use the Internet.

Sixth-form students from Holgate Comprehensive are set to launch the innovative project as a way of bridging the generation gap and proving to residents that young people and the elderly can work together.

In one day, Holgate’s deputy head, Steve Thompson, spoke to meetings of the Hucknall Partnership Group and Reach Out Residents in the town about the project.

Mr Thompson pointed out that earlier this year three Holgate students won an Ashfield schools’ version of the popular ‘Dragons’ Den’ TV programme.

The theme of the competition was finding ways of young people relating to adults, particularly the elderly. Their successful idea was a day trip for pensioners to the coast.

Unfortunately, said Mr Thompson, this initiative could not be put into practice for logistic reasons and it suffered from a lack of ‘sustainability’.

Instead, the sixth-formers are now working with staff at the Under One Roof centre on Vine Terrace, Hucknall, by using its fully functioning computer suite to show pensioners how they could benefit from information technology (IT).

“Many elderly folk have relatives not living in Hucknall or even in England who can be contacted by means of the Internet,” said Mr Thompson, who is also vice-chairman of the Reach Out Residents’ group.

“The sixth-formers use IT equipment in school and they would be happy to train up the elderly people.”

Mr Thompson told Hucknall Partnership Group that the target of the scheme was to link older people with younger people.

Students themselves have come up with the idea of the computer tuition

Brenda Shelbourne, chairman of the Partnership Group said: “This is vitally important and is a good way of young people helping older residents.”

Students themselves have come up with the idea and any pensioner wishing to take part is asked to contact the school on 0115 9632104.

n REACH Out Residents also heard from Trevor Middleton, of Ashfield District Council, that an ‘environmental action day’, which saw litter and leaves being swept from streets in parts of Hucknall, had proved well worthwhile.