Oasis Project Whitefield wants to raise £3000 to install broadband and provide tablet computers to start a Silver Surfers Computer Club. The plan is to bring in teenage volunteers from local schools to teach older folk from the community how to use smartphones, tablets and laptops.
Many in the older age group tell us how frustrated they feel when they’re faced with increasingly frequent demands to “look on the internet” or “do things on-line”. Bringing together the different generations will not only meet this identified need but also improve connectedness, build community resilience, and tackle inequality.
In recent years two local libraries, which provided computers and guidance on how to use them have both been closed by the local authority. Community education is almost non-existent, and the only IT tuition on offer is job-related – not what the older generation needs. That’s why the Oasis Project wants to start this club for silver surfers.
The Oasis Project is based at the Methodist Church in Elms Street, Whitefield (M45 8GQ), close to a large supermarket and bus and Metrolink tram stops. It was launched four years ago with the introduction of toddlers soft-play sessions to provide a welcoming environment and reasonably-priced refreshments for mums and carers with buggies.
Twice-monthly Afternoon Teas for the Over-50s followed later, with a view to reducing the social isolation felt by some older people. Silver Surfers is a logical next step.