Sixth form pupils from Slemish College have been volunteering their own time after school this term to tutor local older people on a one-to-one basis.
The pupils’ endeavours are part of a project which aims to bring generations together in order to build positive relationships, enable older participants to develop their digital and on-line skills and enable younger participants to build their communication skills.
With funding from GoONNI, Linking Generations Northern Ireland have teamed up with Barclays ‘Digital Eagles’, Slemish Integrated College and Good Morning Ballymena to deliver basic digital and on-line training for older people.
Each week, the group of keen learners have been welcomed in to Slemish College to learn about internet shopping, staying safe on line, using social media and whatever else they had an interest in.
Each older person has been working with a Slemish College pupil to build their internet and digital skills.
Peter McCann, Head of ICT Department at Slemish Integrated College, said: “Slemish College is well connected to the local community and projects such as this help to develop that connection.
“We are delighted to have been involved with such a worthwhile project. The sessions are going really well. Everyone involved is having a good time and finding the sessions worthwhile.”
Debbie Chestnutt, from Good Morning Ballymena, added: “I was so impressed with the students, they were brilliant, they took control of the whole programme.”
Debbie hopes that this will be the start of a lasting relationship between Good Morning Ballymena and Slemish College, with many more opportunities for volunteering and mutually beneficial activities such as this.
Lynn Johnston, from Linking Generations NI, said: “This project is a great example of how Linking Generations works. By linking organisations and institutions that work with one specific age group, generations have opportunities to come together, share skills, build their confidence and have fun.
“It’s a win-win for everyone. Congratulations to everyone involved for making it such a success. I am particularly impressed with the pupils of Slemish College who have given their free time so generously.”