Over 50s benefit from Sopwell ICT workshop

Over 50s computing sessions are being run by Leeanna’s Wish as part of their intergenerational programmes.

Over 50s computing sessions are being run by Leeanna’s Wish as part of their intergenerational programmes. - Credit: Leanna's Wish

A weekly computer skills workshop for over 50s in the district is underway in St Albans.

The free sessions teach basic computing skills - including turning a computer on and off - opening a variety of programmes and navigating the internet.

Sessions are run by community interest company Leeanna’s Wish as part of their intergenerational programmes and was funded by their Tackling Inequalities and Systemic Barriers government grant.

The company was set up by St Albans residents Shelley Hayles, Verity Bramwell and Antoinette Strachan in June 2021 with the remit of 'from the community, for the community'.

Leeanna's Wish works to connect and support people from a diverse range of cultural backgrounds, bridging the digital and social divide with a network of volunteers and local families playing a role in sharing skills and empowering each other.

Nancy Stapleton, 65, has attended the first two computer workshops: “I wanted to be computer literate. There are so many forms to fill in online for travelling, for banking. Our whole lives are on computers and I couldn’t do it. It is truly wonderful to be sitting in front of a computer and achieving, getting somewhere. That boosts my confidence.”

The computer skills workshops are held weekly on Saturdays alongside the Leeanna’s Wish Saturday Club; a community space for teenagers in and around Sopwell which has been running since September 2021.

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The club runs various programmes including, coding, mentoring, basketball and a selection of cultural programmes. It is supported by a strong network of local volunteers.

They meet every Saturday from 3-5pm in Sopwell, an area identified as having high levels of social and economic deprivation. 

Club volunteer Sahida Malik said: “I feel it’s a place where young people can express themselves. It’s a safe place, it’s a voice. If they feel like they don’t fit in or can’t be themselves, I feel like this place will really support them and give them a chance to grow as an individual.”

If you are interested in learning more about either the computer skills workshops or attending or volunteering Saturday Club email Sahida and Shelley at lwsaturdayclub@gmail.com

To help this community resource to run, please donate to justgiving.com/crowdfunding/lwsaturdayclub