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MBE for work helping older people
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 8:28 am 

Joined: Tue Mar 10, 2009 1:21 pm
Posts: 1457
Location: Hampshire
I am 83 and living in Newmarket UK. I was pleased to receive an MBE this year for my voluntary work in helping older people tackle new technology, in particular computers, which I have been using since 1981.

Background: I was Area Careers Officer, Cambridge from 1967, then introduced computers to all the Careers Offices throughout the County. Hence, I spent a lot of time training staff.

I have continued to train people since retiring in 1988 as I believe that it is very important, especially for older people, who can benefit enormously from having computing skills.

In 1999 I developed a website at . It now contains over 50 pages of information and it offers free email help on personal computing.

Then in 2000 I wrote "Hints and Tips for Silver Surfers". I still keep in touch with many of those who purchased the book and send them regular computing tips.

Some years ago I volunteered for the Ability Net" IT CAN HELP" (the disabled) scheme which offers free one-to-one help for local people

In 2012 I was voted joint Age UK (national) Internet Champion and later nominated as a Digital Leader at the National Digital Conference 2012. I was invited to meet Samantha Cameron at No 10.

I do not have to convince followers of your site of the importance of computing for so many things, not least to avoid loneliness by enabling people to get in touch with friends and family, wherever they are, via email or visually via programs such as Skype. It is especially vital to people who are housebound, enabling them to retain their independence. Ordering shopping and having it delivered is just one of many advantages.

Since retiring I have become very deaf. For me, computing is my main means of communication, although I get by at a personal level, because I have a cochlear implant. I have a whole page on coping with deafness on my website.

I offer free email help with computer problems. I do not have all the answers (who does ?) but can usually find them and get back to people within 24 hours.

Recently, the development of tablet computers has made it easier for many more people to get on line. They are so much more ‘intuitive’ to use than previous computers and so much more convenient, being very portable and lacking the tangle of cables associated with desktop PCs. A child of four can use one, as can someone with dementia. I haven’t done it but would love to fill an iPad with photographs familiar to someone whose memory span is measured in seconds and let them flick through. They should be available in all care homes!

I support a charity in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, which funds the schooling and training 'street children'. I have had two campaigns via and have raised £10,000, mainly from donations from companies who ask for links on my website but also from my many contacts and an annual sponsored walk.

I intend to keep on computing until the end and hopefully be able to help many more people with this unique technology.

January 2015

Links :
[email protected] (charity) ... led-people


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