Edith Ball

Edith – having fun and inspiring others to ‘give it a go’ this Get Online Week

Edith Ball, 88, from Preston, has been learning digital skills at her local UK online centre – The Intact Centre. Having barely used computers before, she was very cautious about getting online. Now there’s no stopping her – she’s using Skype and emails to talk to family abroad, surfing the internet to find out all sorts of information, and much more.

Edith says: “Before I retired I was a psychiatric nurse tutor working at a training school. I loved it so much because it allowed me to help people. I used computers a little bit in my job, but I mainly directed the students towards them.”

But when a friend recently suggested trying computer classes at the local Intact Centre, Edith decided it was high time to do some training herself.

She says: “The first day I went to Intact, I got started on Learn My Way and you know what? I’ve ended up completing the whole thing! I’ve even got the certificates to prove it. I really enjoyed it and the social aspect is great too. There’s a tremendous amount of love in the place and I love coming here.”

Edith has been learning how to do all kind of things at the centre and has found the support from the tutors to be especially helpful. She says: “I like that there’s someone there at the IT classes to help me out. Now I can do emails and play about on the internet to see what’s on.”

Edith thinks her new digital skills will only become more useful as she gets older and when she’s not as mobile as she is now. She says: “I know how to book doctor’s appointments and order repeat prescriptions online. I don’t do it that much at the moment because I like to walk to the pharmacy or the doctors to get the exercise – even though it’s only down the road! It’s just good to know that if I really need to, I can do it. I think there’s a lot of value in it.”

Edith is also using the internet to connect more with her family – something which she loves doing very much. She says: “I’m a great great grandmother and I like to keep in touch with all of my family. They all use technology so easily, especially my great grandson, and it always surprises me. But with digital skills I’ve been able to start taking and seeing photographs on my tablet too, like ones of my little grandsons and great grandsons running around. I’m thrilled to bits that I can do that. It’s quite an achievement for me!

“I love hearing all of their voices – that’s so important to me. I’ve learned how to Skype and I’ve done to my sister-in-law in Australia. We had a lovely conversation, I just loved it. As I get older I might get more confined to the house and I’ll probably use Skype all the time then. At the moment, luckily, I still can get out and about.”

Edith couldn’t be happier with her new skills and is delighted to be one of our Get Online Week stars. She says: “In my opinion, this centre is one of the best things ever invented and Learn My Way really got me on my feet when it comes to using computers.

“Before I came here, I just sat in the house on my own, but coming to the IT classes brings me out of the house and gives me something interesting to do. I’m never bored and I enjoy everything I do there. I doubt very much if I’ll ever be inducted into a Hall of Fame or anything, but I was delighted to be asked to be one of the stars of Get Online Week.

“I do still get a bit nervous using the computers but I would recommend it to anyone. The whole world is there online – you’ve just got to have the courage to go in and look!”

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