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The young and the old sometimes look at each-other as if they lived on different planets!

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Written by Peter Kelley

Age UK Norwich trustee and regular Age Space contributor – Pete Kelley, shares his thoughts on how IT training can help bridge the inter-generational divide!

I was thinking about bubbles… how we all live in them. It’s hard to avoid. How it’s good to get out occasionally.

Busting through bubbles isn’t always easy, but improving mutual understanding seems to be key to sorting out a lot of things, right now.

Maybe one of the big divides – and I’ve talked about this before – is inter-generational.

The young and the old sometimes look at each-other as if they lived on different planets. Though, ironically, in our experience, when they get talking, they find they have a lot in common… not least because teenagers and the elderly can, at times, feel they’re ignored by the generation in-between.

That’s not a bad place to start.

The ‘our’ I mentioned there is Age UK Norwich, the city-based charity working with the elderly which I support. And in recent years we’ve increasingly been tackling the needs of our older citizens by working with the young… from primary school age upwards, including a good many UEA and City College students who‘ve come on board. Everyone enjoys the relationships formed

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In a great bit of synergy – youngsters from the city’s Jane Austen College have agreed to help older people understand their computers by volunteering to give IT training.

Come along to Café Pure in St George’s Street, Norwich on Wednesday afternoons between 3.30pm and 5pm. Bring your device – be it tablet, laptop of smart phone – if it’s portable enough. But if not, come anyway. Have a relaxed chat over a cuppa with the students about things you‘d like to understand, or new things you’d like to learn to do digitally… perhaps email, perhaps sending pictures.

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Recently, a gentleman popped along asking for advice about broadband speed, as his was slow at home. The students showed him how to check, and also explore other providers.

I’m told the students are also keen to help people trace family trees online, if that’s your interest.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that an older person in possession of a computer must be in want of a teenager‘s advice.  See what I did there?

To find out more about Age UK Norwich’s free IT training project click HERE or for more information on their wide range of activities visit the Age UK Norwich site.

Or visit our ‘Calendar of Activities’ to search for a wide range of clubs and activities happening across the county – there’s so much going on!

If your parents need support getting out and about, Age UK Norwich have a befriending project and and local charity Door to Door run a reasonably priced, safe and experienced mini bus service.

About the author

Peter Kelley

Pete Kelley is a retired journalist and now writes freelance and volunteers as a welfare rights officer and trustee for Age UK Norwich.