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
Keith Read on 01926 813603 (firstname.lastname@example.org) ,
Tony Noble on 01788 312755 (email@example.com)
Rose Hull on 01926 634349 (firstname.lastname@example.org) .