Pupil turns teacher to give lessons to silver surfers

A Year 13 student at Berkhamsted School has turned teacher to share computer skills with Owners at Churchill Retirement Living’s Sheldon Lodge development in the town.

Sammy Gilam, 17, volunteers each week to help mature novices at the Lodge learn new computer skills, access social media and address any IT issues. He explains: “Our school offers a volunteering service and when this was put forward as one of the placements it really appealed to me. It’s great to be able to share my skills and knowledge with other people and know I’m doing something practical to help them.

“We cover all sorts of areas, I’ve showed people how to use iPads, access websites, download photos, print documents and keep in touch with friends and family using social media and Skype; whatever they need help with really.

“I’m really enjoying visiting the Lodge and I’d definitely recommend volunteering to other students. It’s very rewarding knowing you’ve made a positive difference to someone’s day.”

The lessons were organised by Lodge Manager, Anne-Marie Taylor. She was keen to involve young people as they are the real experts in the field.  She said: “Several of our Owners have had one-to-one lessons with Sammy and have found the sessions extremely useful.  Bringing different age groups together is a great way to help break down barriers and address misconceptions.”

Yvette Christy, marketing executive for Churchill Retirement Living commented: “Statistics show that one in five people aged 55 to 64 have never used the internet and this rises to three in five for the over 65s.  Learning how to keep up to date with modern technology can be extremely empowering and boost confidence.”

Sheldon Lodge is a stylish collection of 48 one and two bedroom privately-owned retirement apartments. Each apartment has been designed exclusively for those in their retirement years and has a number of safety and security features, such as a 24 hour emergency call line and a video entry system, for complete peace of mind.

The development is set in landscaped grounds in a central location, just a short distance from public transport links, shops and all the local amenities on offer in Berkhamsted.

For further information about the Lodge click here or please call 01442 330 710.