Silver Surfers

HISTORY

Established in 2004, LHSS was one of the first Silver Surfer groups formed under the auspices of the then Age Concern (now Age UK) with support from three major players in the IT/telecommunications industry.  Thanks to Gill Brown, a former Alms Houses resident who was involved with Age Concern in Rugby, and Keith Read, a local journalist, we were able to secure the package of computer hardware that was the first rung on our ladder to what is now a flourishing group.

While the original computer and its dial-up connection to the Internet is now almost a museum piece and redundant (all Members today have their own laptops, notepads or iPods) the original concept of a local group helping anyone over 55 get to grips with IT and computing is alive and well.

When Age UK withdrew support from the original scheme, LHSS – which had always been somewhat different in that it met in the Parish Hall rather than a local library – carried on and expanded.  With much-appreciated on-going support from the LH Consolidated Charity and, in the past, grants from Rugby Council and the Co-Op’s Helping Hearts Charity, we have been able to improve our connection to the Internet.  From the incredibly-slow dial-up we rapidly moved to a couple of wireless ‘dongles’ to enable more than one Member to simultaneously connect to the Internet.

Dongles were better than dial-up.  But with new Members joining they were not good enough.  So, in 2013, we took the decision to invest in an expensive BT Business connection.  Sadly, because the Parish Hall is not a ‘domestic residence’ – and even though LHSS is definitely NOT a business – we can’t take advantage of BT’s much cheaper home Broadband.  However, biting the bullet has brought enormous benefits.  No matter how many Members turn up at our Friday morning meetings, everyone is able to ‘get online’ and enjoy surfin’ the net and learning all about IT, e-mail and the power of computers!



Equally as important as obtaining our excellent BT Broadband connection was the securing the help of Tony Noble to assist Keith Read (and treasurer, Rose Hull) in running LHSS.
  Tony is a former Royal Yacht Britannia communications officer and very knowledgeable about computers as well as being a jolly nice chap.  It might be that you have met him when he has been giving one of his talks on life on board the Royal Yacht to raise money for the Royal Naval Association.

Sadly, Gill Brown moved away from the Parish not long after LHSS was established and is no longer involved, although some Members remain in touch with her – via e-mail, of course!!

LHSS is very pleased to have been taken under the wing of Leamington Hastings Parish Hall, a registered charity, which means that our accounts (ably managed by Rose Hull) are properly audited every year.

WHAT WE OFFER

Sessions every Friday at LH Parish Hall, from 9.30am until 11.30am, and we start the right way – with a tea or coffee!  There is nothing ‘formal’ or ‘classroom’ about our sessions.  They are informal and very sociable while, at the same time, designed to meet all Members’ needs – from simple questions about how to do this or that to more intricate downloading of anti-virus software.  We don’t profess to know it all.  But hopefully there’s not a question we cannot answer (or find out the answer) or a problem we cannot resolve (or find a resolution elsewhere!) 

All the help and guidance given is free of charge.  Tony, Rose and Keith are volunteers and none seek any out-of-pocket expenses.  However, there are costs involved in running LHSS – hire of the Parish Hall, our BT telephone line and, of course, the BT Business Broadband.  Part – but not all – of the annual cost is covered by the generous support of the Trustees of the LH Consolidated Charity.  We therefore ask Members for a small quarterly subscription to top up the kitty so that we don’t end the year in the red…  The subscription usually amounts to about £1.50 a week.



 

WILL WE SEE YOU?

 If the answer is yes, and if you’d like more information, please call or e-mail

Keith Read on 01926 813603 (keithrread@aol.com) ,

Tony Noble on 01788 312755 (nobletshowse2@hotmail.com)

Rose Hull on 01926 634349 (rosehull246@msn.com) .





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