A group of residents of Dryleaze House in Wotton-under-Edge were recently awarded a Small Sparks grant to help them run activities and connect with new friends from the wider community.
A series of computer buddying sessions - where residents meet up to learn computing skills from local young people - were already running regularly and proving to be very popular. The group wanted to make these available to more people and also hoped to expand the range of other activities available. New ideas included live music events, open to residents and local community members alike, and greater participation in town events, such as the recent ‘Alice in Wonderland’ trail.
Some new equipment was also required. For example, during the computing sessions, many residents found that it was extremely difficult to use the computer mouse they had available to them. It was too sensitive and hard to control, particularly for those with arthritis. So they researched different options and chose a new mouse with a trackerball which is proving much more user-friendly and enabling more of the residents to start taking part.
At this week’s session, the young computer buddies discovered that Dryleaze House had recently acquired a table tennis table - so in between showing their older friends how to find information online and use the printer, they also enjoyed playing table tennis together!
Mary George, a Dryleaze House resident who has been actively involved in a wide range of You’re Welcome activities in Wotton over recent months, says: “I’m grateful to have young people come up here to help the older residents learn something new. It does seem to have given several people a new lease of life!”
Resident, Elsie Brooks, says: “I’ve surprised myself at 91 years of age because I’m able to have a go!”
And Keith Carter, 92, who has been an enthusiastic participant throughout, says: “I didn’t think I’d be able to pick up the computing but I’m finding it very good. My daughter hasn’t got a computer and doesn’t know how to use one, so I thought I’d see if I could put one over on her! I want every opportunity to learn and to keep my brain active for as long as I can.”