There was a buzz of excitement at the Harrison Court Sheltered Housing scheme in Hitchin as 7 Year 10 pupils from the Hitchin Priory School came in to run sessions for residents on how make the most out of the internet. The residents had already met the students at the school last year when they were taught in the classroom by the students. For this event, both pupils and residents were looking forward to getting back together and catching up with each other’s progress. The session covered everything from booking hotels online, managing emails and even playing back gammon!
Both events were organised jointly by Sally Emler, Head of Realising Aspirations from the school and Colin Newcombe, Business Systems Manager from Fortem, whose head office is based in Hitchin.
Inspired by the benefits of the initiative, the school’s Head Teacher Geraint Edwards said: "The Digital Inclusion Day is an outstanding example of how a business, young people and members of the local community can come together and share their knowledge and understanding. Bridging the information technology gap is vital to enhancing the life experiences of all involved."
Fortem see community engagement as a priority for their business. A property solutions provider which offers a comprehensive range of maintenance, retrofit, energy and investment services, Fortem last year invested over £1m back into the community and enhanced the life chances of 3,500 young people. With a focus on Digital Inclusion, Fortem has been delighted to be involved in creating an event that brings together two generations from within the community, where the young people become the teachers and the residents prove that you’re never too old to learn new skills.
Both students and residents thoroughly enjoyed the event. One resident commented that the session was "wonderful" and "we learnt a lot", whilst a student commented that "it was lovely to see all the residents again and help them." Alan Day, one of the residents who helped organise the event, said "once again, our mentors displayed maturity beyond their years and a degree of knowledge that brings credit on the School".