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Generations are brought together by Norwich school's project

Year nine pupils from the The Hewett School taking part in the Intergenerational Project at Eleanor Road Complex.

Year nine pupils from the The Hewett School taking part in the Intergenerational Project at Eleanor Road Complex.

Submitted - August 2011

Students from The Hewett School in Norwich have been helping residents at the nearby Eleanor Road Complex learn about computers and the internet through a new project.

Eleanor Road is part of Norwich Housing Society and consists of 28 residential units, which are home to people aged between 60 and 94.

The project was established by The Base, a new centre that has opened on The Hewett School site as a joint partnership between Barnardo’s, The Central Norwich Foundation Trust and The Parkside Special School Trust.

The Hewett School gave all year nine students the chance to register their interest in the project and after briefing and training sessions, an initial group of 11 students were selected to take part in the Intergenerational Project at the complex.

Over the past 10 weeks, the students have worked with residents on a one-to-one basis, providing tuition in two-hour sessions for general internet and computer use, such as sending emails, word processing and file management. Some of the Eleanor Road residents set up Facebook accounts and explored online reunions and genealogy.

Margaret Dye, a resident and a former teacher at The Hewett School, who attends to learn how to electronically type stories on her laptop, said: “Years ago my husband used to type up my handwritten scribbles, which eventually grew into books.

“Sadly my husband died recently, so I write even more urgently to absorb my grief and loneliness.

“I am impressed and delighted to confess that it is a pleasure to learn from the modern youth, who too often, get bad press; so I would therefore like to thank those who give up their time to keep us in touch.”

Janet Holman, also a resident at the complex, added: “As somebody who had no idea about the working of computers, I find the sessions excellent – especially the one-to-one teaching.

“It has opened up a whole new world to me.”

The Intergenerational Project is the first of its kind that has been offered to students at The Hewett School through The Base, however there are now hopes to establish many more.

For more information about The Base or to arrange a meeting with the centre manager, email emma.parkinson@barnardos.org.uk

Have you been impressed by the work of some local volunteers? Call Local Life editor David Freezer on 01603 772418 or email david.freezer@archant.co.uk

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