Alan is 67 and is married to Pauline. After retiring from his job as a painter and decorator, he started going to the Likely Lads club at his local community centre every week.
The Likely Lads meet every Monday morning and play darts, dominoes, pool and cards – Alan is looking forward to the Christmas knockout competition. They also organise day trips, and this year they have been to Morecambe, Wigan Pier, Bury and Matlock.
Local community group Hattersley and Mottram Community Media went along to the Likely Lads group to run a taster session about the internet as part of our ‘Get Connected,Get Online‘ project. Before the session, Alan had attended a ‘computers for beginners’ course but he knew very little about the internet. He had never used a computer in his working life, but just before the session he had bought a laptop and had the internet installed at home. Alan said, “I did it to keep myself occupied and try to come into the 21st century”. However, Alan didn’t really know what to use the internet for or how it could help him with his day-to-day life. He was also worried about security, having heard stories of identity fraud and people having money taken from online bank accounts. Alan said, “It’s a waste of time having it if I can’t use it”.
Alan thought the session was reassuring. He said, “The session gave me a starting point and an incline as to the different things you can use the internet for, which I wasn’t aware of before. I was quite cautious about security before the session but Clare showed us websites that help you keep safe online and what to look for when entering personal details, which I found really helpful. The session really showed me what you can do.”
Alan is a lot more confident about using the internet now. Because he is more aware of how to protect himself online, he now accesses his personal medical records online, which is something he wouldn’t have done beforehand. He and Pauline have also used the internet to book a holiday. The session even gave Alan the confidence and inspiration to attend further training so he could learn more about how to use computers and the internet. He said, “As long as you go at your own pace and keep trying things, you’re doing all right.”