Today was my first day as a volunteer for Age Action in their Getting Started Computer Training course. This is a six week programme for the over 55s to encourage and help them to use computers and the Internet. All classes are run by volunteer tutors with small groups of learners, in local, non-formal learning settings. Our class today was held in the Rathmines-Pembroke Citzens Information Centre. This is a training centre with plenty of computers and good modern facilities, behind Slattery's Pub - it must be at least 25 years since I set foot in this pub.
There were just six learners there today - this will increase to eight next week. There were four volunteers, so as this was my first day I had just one learner to look after - a 74 year old man called Paddy who had very little experience with computers. In no time at all we were looking up Google, RTÉ News, AIB Bank, Mayo GAA, and horse racing web sites. Paddy picked this all up very quickly. I very much enjoyed the two-hour session - and hopefully Paddy did too. We'll go in to more detail next week.
I've never really volunteered for anything before - I guess it is about time I did something. Most of the Getting Started courses are held during the day - this is not convenient for work, I am hoping for the odd one in the evening the next time I'm asked to do a course.