Armagh pupils help bridge the generation and digital gap

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Participants and organisers of the Digital Inclusion Programme gathered for a celebration event in Armagh City Hotel.
Participants and organisers of the Digital Inclusion Programme gathered for a celebration event in Armagh City Hotel.

Pupils at a school in Armagh who helped adults – aged 50 plus-  develop new computer skills, have been hailed as a credit to their parents and their school.

As part of a Digital Inclusion Programme, the group of local adults were mentored over six weeks by Year 13 A Level pupils from St Patrick’s Grammar in Armagh on a range of IT skills from email to social media as well as important settings on their devices.

Some of those taking part had never used a tablet device or smartphone before and the one-to-one guidance from the pupils helped to develop their confidence in using their digital devices.

A pupil from St Patrick’s Grammar gives guidance to an adult as part of the Digital Inclusion Programme Armagh.
A pupil from St Patrick’s Grammar gives guidance to an adult as part of the Digital Inclusion Programme Armagh.

At an event held in the Armagh City Hotel to mark the conclusion of the course, the adults and pupils came together to celebrate the significant progress which was made during the course which was led by tutor Deirdre Fitzpatrick.

Joan Robinson summed up the sense of gratitude on behalf of the adults when she said: “They (pupils) were kind, they were patient and most of all they were very polite. I would have to say that they are a credit to their parents and their school, and I would like to wish them all the best in their coming exams.”

The Digital Inclusion Programme is supported by the Department for Communities and NI Housing Executive’s ‘Housing for All’ Shared Housing Programme. Approximately £4M has been invested in the St Malachy’s Court shared housing development in Armagh managed by Ark Housing Association and associated five-year Good Relations Plan.

Pupils from St Patrick’s Grammar receive vouchers as thanks for taking part in the Digital Inclusion Programme.
Pupils from St Patrick’s Grammar receive vouchers as thanks for taking part in the Digital Inclusion Programme.

The successful Digital Inclusion Programme was developed in partnership with the Promoting Wellbeing Team in SHSCT, and the Age Friendly Officer at ABC Council.

Stephanie Rock who is the ABC Age Friendly Officer said the course had delivered tangible rewards. She said: “Bringing the pupils and the adults together for this course has had real benefits for everyone involved.

“The adults have gained some really important IT skills, which can help them communicate with family and friends and other tasks such as shopping and bills. And it has also given the pupils an opportunity to share their knowledge and skills.”

Adults gain new IT skills on their tablet devices from pupils at St Patrick’s Grammar, Armagh.
Adults gain new IT skills on their tablet devices from pupils at St Patrick’s Grammar, Armagh.

Stephen Harland, the Communities Officer at Ark Housing Association said: “This has been a fantastic programme and we are very grateful to all our partners. We look forward to future projects in the years ahead.”

If you would like to find out more details about events, classes and activities in the ABC Borough for people aged 50 plus, you can email or call 07825 010630.