It is not until you begin to explain to someone just what it is you do and why you do it that it really sinks in what a difference you often make to older peoples’ lives in Edinburgh by being an ACE IT tutor.
This was once again the case when we were joined by a team from BBC Scotland’s Reporting Scotland during the Tuesday afternoon drop in session at our computer training suite at 115 George Street.
On a mission to learn directly from older people why life-long learning and educational activities are becoming increasingly popular with the 50+ age group across Scotland, the BBC team soon realised they had come to the right place.
With the relaxed and supportive atmosphere that has made ACE IT one of the most popular computer training projects in Scotland, the relatively new drop in sessions have swiftly become known as a place where older people can come together to learn new computing skills or expand upon skills already in place, extend their own personal social networks or learn to access online services and opportunities.
As the journalists introduced themselves and joined with the ‘Silver Surfers’ – topics of discussion ranged from what a difference digital technology was making to people’s lives and their health and well being. Online services such as online shopping and NHS Direct and to how Skype and use social networking, was helping families communicate and keep in contact, helping combat isolation and loneliness while providing mental stimulation and – not to mention – a whole lot of fun!
ACE IT tutors were invited to join in the conversation including our oldest volunteer tutor who is 81 years old and went on to discuss how all were aware of just how important the service they were helping to provide and how it underscored the difference that was being made and the opportunities that were being presented to older active citizens across Edinburgh and far beyond!