#HCAVolunteers – Sue at Millman Street
Sue, a previous employee at Millman Street (and long-time supporter of HCA) has been volunteering her time in the computer room for over a decade. She shares with us what motivates her to volunteer and why she believes computer skills for older people are so important.
“I really enjoy volunteering, I provide 1-1 support for our older members to help them achieve for themselves using computers. Sometimes it is hard work but the challenge is good for me. I love being at Millman Street, there is such a sense of community. Being retired myself it’s great to spend time with a broad mix of people, it’s really valuable for me and I feel like I am connected to the modern day world.
I went many years not knowing how to use a computer, much like many of my students. I support members during my drop-in sessions, teaching skills like how to browse the internet and use emails. The session is very user led – for example some of our older members are taking photos on their smartphones and want to know where to save them and how to share them. So we go through it together.
Another thing I help with is how to do online administrative tasks in a safe environment. A real fear for our older members is being victims of fraud and they are not sure how to avoid it, as scammers can be very convincing. We learn skills such as never opening an attachment that you don’t know who the email is from and not putting your personal details into an email. As well as understanding what a safe website is (and what isn’t!).
It’s interesting how social media is not really used by our older people at Millman Street using our computers. But i’ve noticed some are reading the daily news online now. They all grew up reading a daily newspaper, for them the layout on a screen is very different to physical print and takes some practise to get used too.
I previously worked at Millman Street for 20 years in various roles – I see a real link for our members how receiving good daily care and support helps you to stay well. To support our older people members in using computers is a real pleasure.”