Everybody’s gone surfin’ ... surfin OAP

Celia Croft manager (left) and Glenys Houghton with tutor Andrew Dixon of Connect IT Plus
Celia Croft manager (left) and Glenys Houghton with tutor Andrew Dixon of Connect IT Plus

SILVER surfers in Wigan have become multi-media savvy at their new computer club.

The IT group for older residents in Worsley Mesnes has proved so inspiring that in just a matter of months they have produced their own DVD and e-calenders.

While other members of the group at Brookside sheltered housing scheme have started enjoying making Skype video calls to family and friends around the world.

Housing provider Guinness Northern Counties, which owns the scheme, provided £1,000 start-up funding to set up the free IT training sessions.

The club itself is run in partnership with Connect IT Plus, which provides all the necessary equipment and delivers the training.

Members of the computer club were so keen to enjoy the World Wide Web that they managed to secure almost £10,000 of additional Lottery funding to further equip the club with PCs. They are hoping to earn extra funding keep it running from April 2012 and beyond.

Guinness Care and Support Scheme Manager Celia Croft said: “The aim was to give people of all ages the chance to have fun finding out how to use a computer and discovering what it could do for them.

“It really took off and within just a few weeks the club had a dedicated following of over eight regular members from age 62 to 75.”

Most of the group had never even switched on a computer before going along to the club.

Now they are designing their own greetings cards and calendars while others have created DVDs using Windows Live Movie Maker.

Several members of the group have now gone on to purchase their own laptop computers so they could continue with their projects at home between sessions.

Brookside resident Doreen Crawford, 75, said: “I’m thrilled to discover how to download photos and make them into my own calendars. It really is great fun.”

The free sessions are open to all local residents and take place every Friday at Brookside sheltered housing scheme in Worsley Mesnes, Wigan.