Gordon White, a 65 year old retired postman, sourced funding so his fellow tenants could buy a computer and tablet to keep in touch with relatives as well as enjoy all the benefits of being connected to the internet.
With the help of Audrey Baird, the Helensburgh and Lomond Community Development Officer, Gordon put together a case to present to the NHS Mental Health and Wellbeing Committee, which is funded by Argyll and Bute Council, showing how a £1100 grant would benefit residents at Waverley Court.
Gordon said: “We really wanted to help people access new technologies so they could have more opportunities to learn how to stay in touch with friends and family at home and abroad using email and skype.
“The age range of our ‘silver surfers’ is 65 to 95. Some people have mobility issues and struggle to get out in bad weather so it’s great they now have the option, for example, to order shopping online.”
Gordon added: “With this funding we were able to install Wi-Fi in the lounge which benefits not only tenants but guests as they can use it as well. We also installed a computer with broadband and a colour printer in a communal salon area.
“Bield have agreed to cover the ongoing cost of providing broadband and Bield IT experts maintain the computer system and Wi-Fi.”
Gordon, who has been living at Waverley Court with his wife Diane since March 2012, also helped arrange for five of the residents to complete a 10 week IT Training course provided by Argyll & Bute Council’s adult learning department.
He said: “The whole thing has created quite a buzz. A lot of the tenants were frightened about using new technologies but they are surprised at how quickly they have picked things up and they are now confidently surfing the net.”
Karen McGowan, retirement housing manager at Waverley Court, said: “Gordon has done a tremendous job in helping to introduce older people to the benefits of the internet and the digital age.
“He is really involved in the social side of things and he has done a great job at helping all the tenants to learn about technology.
“We are really pleased with the new IT equipment at Waverley Court. It is really enhancing and enriching the lives of our residents and they are all enjoying learning new things.”