Isle of Wight residents go online and get connected
It was smiles all round at V-LineSTUDIO last week when a keen group of Southern Housing Group residents completed their ‘Introduction to Computers’ course.
Seven students successfully completed the four week course that has taught them how to send and receive emails, use word processing, manage files and folders and how to surf the internet and use Facebook and Skype.
Run by tutors Geoff Underwood and Jamie Macaulay, and specially designed for and funded by Southern Housing Group, each of the three hour sessions is called a ‘Step Up’, with a positive outcome from each of the four sessions.
“It’s been really enlightening,” said Carole Walsh from West Street, Ventnor. “It’s lifted me up, trying to catch up with the rest of the human race. I’ve now got an email address and I’ve used it to contact family and friends. I’m on Facebook today and I’ve realised that cousins from Ireland are trying to get hold of me.”
“I’ve been really impressed with both Jamie and Geoff and the help I’ve received,” said Lionel Thompson from St Catherine’s Street, Ventnor. “They’ve been very helpful with guiding me forward. I was travelling up to London and to Essex to see my son and daughter but now I’ve been on Skype to them and seen the new baby and my brother in Scotland. I hadn’t seen him for over a year and then I got on Skype and there he was.
”I’ve learned the basics of using a computer and I knew nothing, absolutely nothing,” said Linda Burnett from St Catherine’s Street, Ventnor. “For me it’s going to be useful for emails and information searching. I just want to find my way around like everyone else.
“I didn’t have a computer at home but I intend to come in at least once a week. I’ve enjoyed it very much – they didn’t make me feel like a complete idiot.”
David Weedon, Resident Services Manager at Southern Housing Group, said, “We regularly consult with our residents to see how we can best support them. Recent feedback told us that access to internet and training to use it effectively was in huge demand from our residents. By working with V-Line we were able to tailor the course to our resident’s needs.
“Being able to connect online is vital for some residents. It enables them to do so much more and makes their lives easier, from connecting with friends and relatives who live far away, to online banking or shopping. It also helps them to access further training, advice and support services.
“This course forms part of our wider training programme at the Group and has been really successful. Feedback from the residents who took part has been very positive and we will certainly be looking at how we can roll out more of these courses to our residents across the island.”
Jamie Macaulay, V-Line director said: “This course was a Basic Introduction to Computers – designed to suit anyone who had never used a computer and would like to do so.
“The four week course of linked ‘Step Ups’ enables anyone who doesn’t know how to use a computer to be confident in email, social networking, simple word processing and managing files and folders.
“As part of the Southern Housing Group’s package each member is allocated a year-long membership of VLineSTUDIO and has ten hours free internet access with which to continue using their newly found skills.”