• Paul Fingleton

Age Action Ireland and Dell Team Up for Free Technology Training for Cork's Older Community

Getting Started is a training programme for older people to encourage and help them to use computers, the Internet and mobile phones. Classes are run by volunteer tutors with small groups of learners, in local, non-formal learning settings. Volunteers from Dell’s campus in Mahon have been tutoring the participants – who are all aged over 55 – on a one-to-one basis at its Cork site.

Volunteers teach people the basics of computer use, how to search the Internet, how to set up an email account and how to send and receive emails. Computer courses run for 4 to 8 weeks, one session per week and classes are between one to two hours in duration. Each class contains 8-10 people.

Getting Started programme participant Carrie O'Connor with Eleanor Clancy of Dell Ireland.

Julie Oates, Age Action’s Regional Project Officer for the Getting Started Programme, said: “We are so grateful to Dell for hosting the courses and to the company’s volunteers who gave their time to tutor participants. Age Action started this initiative as part of our fight against digital exclusion and it has been a great success. Getting Started proves that no-one is ever too old to learn skills like online banking and using email. If you are interested in taking part in the programme, please do not hesitate to get in touch. We are now taking names for courses right through to summer in all areas of Cork, and because the Dell courses are so popular, I recommend that people book early for the next one planned for May.”

Elsewhere across Ireland, the training take place in libraries, community centres, family resource centres, corporate offices, and housing complexes for older people and over 1,000 volunteers have helped over 6,000 students.

Speaking of the event today, John O’Mara, Cork Site Leader, Dell Ireland said: “Well done to all those who took part in the Getting Started course. Thanks to Age Action and team members from Dell who volunteered as tutors, participants are now browsing with ease and many are now using technology to connect with loved ones at home and abroad. Dell’s Powering the Possible commitment to put technology and expertise to work where it can do the most good for people and the planet is reflected in our relationship with Age Action, and we look forward to continuing to work together on behalf of the older people of Cork.”

Getting Started programme participants Eileen O'Connell and Ned O'Connell with Anna Geary of Dell Ireland.

More information about the Getting Started programme, and where it may be available in your area, is available by calling 021 453 65554, visiting www.ageaction.ie or by emailing gettingstartedcork@ageaction.ie.