Silver City Surfers @ Muirfield Primary, Aberdeen

Overview - posted June 2012
Silver City Surfers aim to try to meet the needs of their customers by giving them the opportunity to learn about basic computing including the use of email and the internet. Silver City Surfers Volunteers became aware that young people had the computer knowledge that the over 55s required, but not the teaching skills to impart this knowledge. Also the young people’s ideas of what older people would find useful was not always correct. 

The Silver City Surfers liaised with the Depute Head Teacher of Muirfield Primary to involve primary seven pupils in the activities. The ‘learners’ were recruited with the help of local radio, newsletters and Silver City Surfers’ website. The age range of participants ranged from 10 to 84 years old and there were three sessions of two hours. 

Initial sessions were run by Silver City Surfers’ Co-ordinator and volunteers who worked with pupils to address stereotypes of older people. Resources were provided for pupils to go through a training pack so they could go back to basic computer skills and teach the ‘learners’.  

At each session the participants could choose to be trained in four areas: email (setting up, sending and adding attachments), uploading photographs from a camera or mobile phone, making a document/flier using Word and using an internet search engine. 

Benefits for the Community 
All participants felt they had learned something and were keen to be involved again. Attitudes of both groups towards each other had changed and there was more understanding and great camaraderie between the different age groups at the end of the three sessions.

Benefits for the Younger People 
The project gave primary pupils the opportunity to be tutors and increase their interpersonal skills and confidence. All four key capacities of the Curriculum for Excellence were addressed in this project; they included Responsible Citizens, Confident Individuals, Effective Contributors and Successful Learners. 

Benefits for the Older People
The older people enhanced their computer knowledge and skills. All participants managed to email and many printed out fliers/posters. They uploaded photographs and sent them to relatives and friends. Some filled in forms online and signed up for online shopping for the first time ever. The sessions lead to many of the participants feeling more confident about using computers. 

This project contributes to the Scottish National Performance Framework (NFP):

Scottish NFP Objectives
The main NFP objective that this project contributes to is:

Smarter will focus on improving literacy, numeracy and attainment and on raising and realising ambition for all.

These NFP objectives could also apply:

Wealthier and Fairer will support activities that address inequalities and enhance skills, employability and job opportunities. It builds on the characteristics of solidarity, cohesion and sustainability to ensure that all of Scotland has an opportunity to flourish.  

Safer and Stronger aims to help local communities to flourish and become stronger, safer places to live.

Scottish NFP Outcomes
Our young people are successful learners, confident individuals, effective contributors and responsible citizens:  To enable children, young people and (subsequently) adults to thrive from an early age, and make a positive contribution in the 21st century. 

We have strong, resilient and supportive communities where people take responsibility for their own actions and how they affect others: Being part of a strong community gives us the support we need locally. It minimises crime, antisocial behaviour and their social and economic costs.

Email: Chris Dunhill

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