Celebrating a year of Silver Surfing success
On National Silver Surfer Day last Friday, Surrey Lifelong Learning Partnership (SLLP) celebrated one year of computer courses offered to the over 65s at the Longmead Centre in Epsom. The free computer courses organised by SLLP and the WEA (Workers' Education Association) are held four times a week at the Longmead Centre to train older people to use the internet.
The computer courses took off when SLLP loaned a set of laptops to the WEA for a day which saw a huge turnout of invitees and members determined to get to grips with technology. To meet growing demand, along with the WEA, Nescot College also have their IT tutor working two days a week with groups of 12 learners at a time overcoming their fear of computers and the internet.
A need soon arose for a set of permanent laptops at the Longmead Centre ensuring members and Longmead residents would always be able to continue learning. The interest shown prompted SLLP to help constitute InterGenEpsom, a community group which bid for Surrey County Councillors’ Allocation Funding.
Rebecca Court, Community Learning Advisor, Surrey Lifelong Learning Partnership said: “County Councillors Jan Mason and Colin Taylor were very generous and their contribution has helped fund the purchase of 13 laptops which have been used by over 100 learners since May 2009. A successful funding bid was also made to Comic Relief through Surrey Community Foundation. Staff at the Longmead Centre have also been very helpful and supportive”
County Councillors Jan Mason and Colin Taylor cut the one year birthday cake to celebrate the permanent laptop provision and one year of Silver Surfing at the Longmead Centre. They also participated in the computer session led by WEA tutor, Simon Blewitt and talked to learners about the learning journeys they had all made.
InterGen Epsom has plans to bid for more funding to be able to offer more courses to the elderly but to also ensure that other community groups are able to benefit from the use of the laptops. SLLP were also awarded £250 by Digital Unite to demonstrate the NHS Choices website and the interactive quizzes with the Silver Surfers.
The laptops are also available to the Wells Centre and other community groups around Epsom & Ewell. For more information or if any group is interested in using the laptops, please contact Rebecca Court, Community Learning Advisor, Surrey Lifelong Learning Partnership on 01483 4817 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on the Borough Council’s Social Centres visit
www.epsom-ewell.co.uk/SocialCentres or contact 01372 732000.