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Your views on Silver Sidekicks

What do you think? Would you consider being a Silver Sidekick?


Created By on 14/11/2012

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tearsofbloodinmyheart
3rd Aug 2013 15:18:19
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this gvt program seems to have died a death however many people over 50 (and a few under 50's) still don't get it ...be on-line or lose out .. the following is a brief account of my experience on a college course....

the course was sold as beginners:computing.... yay thought i, spread sheets how to set up a web site, upload images etc, what i got despite telling the tutor that yes i knew how to switch a computer on, that i had worked with computers since 1984, that i had done o'level computing was... lets spend an hour learning where to find the on button ......the next hour was how to switch the on button off.....by the end of the 14 weeks, that i'd paid for up front for, i'd learnt .nothing. the class comprised of another woman like myself, a older guy who was a belligerent old cus and i really wondered why he was there......a couple who knew what they were doing who had a mac so why would they be encouraged to stay on a course which used microsoft? and a couple who could never remember a thing, thought it was all hilarious and didn't turn up to have the classes..... so i guess the upshot of this is one to one mentoring would be much better.
KD
26th Jun 2015 08:37:08
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Hi everyone - new to site and first post so please bear with me
I have read all the comments above and agree wholeheartedly with the comments.
I don't think the situation is insurmountable but needs some 'joined up thinking' - from what I can see there are clearly people out there who are computer savvy and can offer much to other people who are not whether they are over 50 or not
This initiative seems to be lost/dead in the water/sunk as far as I can tell so a new approach is required and not on a piecemeal basis.
I am keen to join up members of this community who are interested in mentoring peoplel who are not computer savvy and getting them online and not isolated in their homes - not speaking to anyone for days on end when a Skype chat is a click away
I have a few ideas which I am not going to post here but please contact me with your details and what part of the country you are in and lets talk and see if we can't get something off the ground maybe 🙂
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Very impressive MrsBirch … keep up the great work :0)
mrsbirch
4th Jul 2014 17:21:42
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I help friends and clients over 50 with computer setup, usage and issues. I have a lady of 85 currently who's a whizz with an iPad now!
I run this as a part time business in the Midlands. Clients buy a block of time from me, at a reasonable rate, and I give them 1:1 tuition in their home, or wherever they prefer on iPads, Macs, PC's, phones, tablets - whatever they have or are interested in getting.

I've been offering this service for a couple of years now and it's proved very useful and successful.
Jenn
4th Mar 2013 19:04:37
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"""Also, most people over 50 would willingly give up one afternoon/evening to teach voluntarily with the only incentive being the satisfaction of seeing someone achieve the ultimate goal and get online and enjoy it – and perhaps a cup of tea and a biscuit! – it's not just knowing your stuff it is having endless patience and a sense of humour. I know I've done it!"""

Make it a cup of coffee and I would give my time to help. 🙂

Jenn
Sally Ann
5th Feb 2013 17:42:34
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Thank you Suffolk Silver and Elsie.
SuffolkSilver
26th Jan 2013 12:45:21
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I agree with almost every point made by Sally Ann on the subject of Silver Sidekicks. If she had been a member of the group which made the initial proposals she could have injected some sanity into the outcome. In its present form it could not get off the ground. Apart from the fact that the maths, re the savings, was flawed and based on conjecture, the costs of administration were not taken into account. As an ability net volunteer I had to undergo strict security checks. As paid workers they would need the same and a small army of civil servants to verify whether the training was effective and not just being used a a cash cow by some people. There are already online centres around the country. These should be expanded and supported. And the suggestions about the other places, such a Day centres and schools are all valid. But just throwing £30,000 a year at 1000 people for 5 years is a typical quango suggestion for a complex and intractable problem in the hope that Hm government will be able to save millions by delivering services to older people on line. Very attractive in principle but totally unrealistic in practice. 🙁
Laura Wickham
24th Jan 2013 09:48:15
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I'm new to this site, but agree with the sentiments shown above. I retired a few years ago from a job in IT Support, installing, configuring, documenting, training and trouble shooting different software and am often asked for help by friends. Would love to be able to share this knowledge to help others and even volunteered locally and was turned down! As stated, it is helping someone but also fulfilling a social need and the coffee and biscuits is always welcome.
Sally Ann
4th Dec 2012 19:21:17
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Wouldn't we all, blutone: but that is NOT the point!
blutone
24th Nov 2012 12:16:56
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i,d be a sidekick for 30 grand...no problem!
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You have raised some very interesting points here Sally Ann .. if you would like to add your comments to the main feature at http://www.silversurfers.com/silver-surfer-computer-tutors/ you may also get some response there too. Many thanks 🙂
Sally Ann
14th Nov 2012 15:57:14
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Having read the Silverhairs linked document entitled as above I would like to raise a few points and be interested to know what the rest of you think.
In brief it says that The Policy Exchange (?another quango) recommends that about 1000 older computer literate people could be paid up to £30,000/yr to be 'silver sidekicks' to others over 50 and teach them to use the internet. What a waste of government (our!) money!! The government seems to have this built in procedure of 'throw some money at it without thinking, that'll solve it and then we can forget it'.

This scheme in essence is a good one and needs, therefore, to be set up properly. Certainly it needs funding, but better by far to allocate a budget to individual councils to set up their own local schemes. Laptops could be moved from venue to venue and assessed VOLUNTEER tutors found. Older people like the social contact, especially with others 'in the same boat'. Also, getting people together the tutor can help several people at once. Equally, if someone needs to be taught at home for health reasons or cannot get to a church hall or whatever venue (though this can usually be arranged with famly/volunteeer help) then they could pay a fee to the council to arrange this with a tutor.

Getting several people together works with Impact-Initiatives/ukonline. It has been proven and is still running with younger people to get them applying for jobs online after sorting out their CVs. Paid manager - volunteer tutors. I believe they are referred by The Job Centre. This also worked with the over 60s here in Hove until they recently loss their funding from ukonline.

Also, most people over 50 would willingly give up one afternoon/evening to teach voluntarily with the only incentive being the satisfaction of seeing someone achieve the ultimate goal and get online and enjoy it - and perhaps a cup of tea and a biscuit! If the govenrment goes ahead with this paid idea there will be a rush of people, a lot unsuited to the role of tutor - it's not just knowing your stuff it is having endless patience and a sense of humour. I know I've done it!

And why can't clubs, associations, colleges, schools and even businesses organise sessions? Clubs can put up two lists on their noticeboards - one for those willing to teach and one for those needing help and so merge the two. Colleges and schools have computers - out of hours the councils could cover the overheads out of their allocation. Businesses have computers that could be used in the evenings - a member of staff could surely be paid overtime to look after the company's interest. I am sure it would be tax deductable and good PR for that company.

As David Cameron is all for The Big Society why does he not use this opportunity to promote it in a huge way??

By the way, I strongly object to the term 'sidekick'. It denotes someone less worthy than the other.

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