Free computer classes are perfect for anyone scared of a mouse

Volunteer tutor Lucy Ryan with, from left, Lynn Slater, Margaret Herbert and Brian Henagulp

Volunteer tutor Lucy Ryan with, from left, Lynn Slater, Margaret Herbert and Brian Henagulp Buy this photo

First published in News Herald Series: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Abingdon and Wantage, South Oxford and Kennington. Call me on 01865 425431

FREE workshops are being held this week for over-50s intimidated by the internet or confused by computers.

Age UK in Abingdon is running a week of free taster sessions for their computer courses.

Anyone in the age bracket is welcome to drop in at the charity’s Abingdon centre in West St Helen Street today, Wednesday and Friday between 10am and 1pm for help with using computers, the internet and email.

Brian Henagulph, 77, from Kennington is a retired surveyor, teacher and military volunteer.

His son and grandchildren live in Devon, and after attending the IT course for several months he can talk to them on the internet using web chat programme Skype.

He said: “I went to improve my computer skills, which remain below what my 12-year-old granddaughter could do.

“We found them very friendly, helpful and patient professionals and we really felt part of a group that were there.

“I would heartily recommend anyone who is struggling with their computer to have a go.

“It does enrich your life to be able to use it.”

Mr Henagulph has a computer at home and started using the desktop at the Age UK shop, before buying his own laptop, and he found that he could then take in his laptop with any problem and have it seen to.

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He learnt all the basics including how to use email and how to search the web.

He said: “The patience they have shown to all of us was really supportive – I wasn’t made to feel like a twit. Even my church has a website. If you haven’t got the access you are missing out, and everyone gives you a great welcome.”

Rachelle Kennedy, from Age UK Oxfordshire, said: “We know from the people we work with that using computers and the internet is not as difficult as some people initially think, so we encourage everyone over 50 to join us at our Abingdon Centre and have a go.

“Our free taster sessions are a great way to test the water without having to commit if you find computers aren’t for you.”

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