Wisdom of youth unlocks mobiles
Young and old were getting together in Redwoodtown to help bridge a technological divide last week.
Six students from Marlborough Boys' College were on hand to take one-on-one sessions with a group of about 80 elderly Redwoodtown residents, helping them learn about using cellphones at the St Christopher's Church Hall on Thursday.
The lessons were part of the second Redwoodtown older person seminar, which have been used to help set up a new group for elderly people in the Redwoodtown area to get together.
The boys had been helping teach how to make phone calls and texting, said Michael Buckley, 16, and had handled questions for everything from turning phones off and on to navigating menus.
Most of the students had helped with similar lessons at the first seminar day, including Michael, who said some of the people he helped were mastering their devices, even texting him during the session to demonstrate their newfound skills, but others had struggled.
"Some of them are doing well, but some people just shouldn't have cellphones."
Despite the odd frustration or tricky question the boys had enjoyed themselves as well, he said.
One of Michael's students was new cellphone owner Beth Timpson, who said she was in her 70s and had bought the phone to keep in touch with her family in case of an emergency.
Michael's help had been very useful and it had not taken long to get a handle on the basics, she said: "It's easy so far. It's a bit like the television remote and all that."
Fellow group member Joan Menzies said she was extremely grateful for the help she received during the lesson time. She had learnt to text and was planning to practise by texting family members when she got home.
Seminar organiser Wendy Reynolds said the cellphone lessons had been a particularly popular part of the two seminar days the hub has held.
"The first day we had about 80 people and I only had four guys. When I said we were moving on to the cellphones everyone here got a phone out. We've really enjoyed having the boys here and I think it's been inspiring for them too."
She was hopeful of getting some of the students back in the future for more cellphone lessons or possibly helping teach people how to email, she said.
Margaret Fairhall, 76, said along with the cellphone help the group also had a talk about the switch to digital television and from Geoffrey T Sowman funeral directors. They had been entertained by a choir from Redwoodtown School and enjoyed morning tea and lunch together. The seminar days had been very helpful and a great way to get out and meet people and have fun, she said.
Wendy is organising a third seminar day covering driving, mobility scooters and pedestrian safety on July 19 from 10.30am till 1.30pm.
For more seminar information contact Wendy on 5794446.
- The Mirror