Page last updated at 10:14 GMT, Friday, 8 October 2010 11:14 UK
Students help pensioners learn computer skills
Huon Thomson and Audrey James
Huon Thomson passes on some tips to Audrey James at Atlantic College

Young students in the Vale of Glamorgan are helping older people get to grips with computers.

The Atlantic College Computer Club brings elderly learners together with students on a one-to-one basis and has a waiting list of applicants to join.

It is lending its support to the BBC's First Click campaign running from 18 to 24 October to encourage people to take their first steps to get online.

Libraries across the UK will also be offering basic computer courses.

Latest research figures revealed by the Welsh Assembly Government suggest that 34 percent of people in Wales - more than one in three - haven't used the internet in the last four months with people over 65 years of age least likely to have gone online.

The campaign will stress the benefits of the internet by giving people access to information about matters such as utility prices, health issues and hobbies, as well as a means of keeping in touch with friends and family far way.

Vivian Beck from Age Concern, who organises the Atlantic College sessions, says the scheme provides a perfect match.

Vivian Beck of Age Concern
Vivian Beck from Age Concern is pleased with the scheme's success

"Younger people are naturals on the computer and they learn to be patient and to explain things in really simple ways, while the older people are all getting a personal tutor - it's brilliant," she says.

81 year old Audrey James from Llantwit Major is one of the new recruits to the class and hopes to learn new skills.

"The computer has been my salvation - especially as I live alone," she says.

"It's wonderful. If I can't sleep I get up and go on the computer and I can lose myself into it.

"I keep in touch with family in Canada and I play games but I'd like to learn more."

Audrey's tutor, 17 year old Huon Thomson from Australia, says their first session was a great success.

"It's always a pleasure to teach the older people to use computers, to show them it's not something to be afraid of and that it's a great way to get information and stay connected," he said.

This is just one of 14 similar projects at Atlantic College.

Roy Noble and the BBC First Click campaign
Roy Noble will be surfing the net for BBC Wales in November

Ray Silkstone, the teacher in charge of the social service programme, says: "We attach as much importance to our community programme as to our academic work.

"This particular scheme is an idea way of bridging the gap between generations and learning about older people in the local community."

As part of the BBC's First Click campaign, Roy Noble will explore the world of computers and the internet for Roy's First Click, to be shown on BBC Two Wales in November.

If you know someone who might need help getting online, call the free BBC First Click advice line on 08000 150 950




BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific