When Dot Cato left her native Zimbabwe for a new life in Peterborough, she expected to have to rely on letters to keep in touch with her friends.
Just a month after arriving in the city, Dot (77) has learned to use a computer and she’s now in regular email contact with all her South African friends.
Now Dot, a retired missionary, wants to encourage other older people to take advantage of free computer courses at the Herlington Hub, Orton Malborne.
“Everyone needs to know how to use a computer today. It’s the way forward and if you don’t get to grips with modern technology, you will be left behind,” said Dot. “Learning to use the computer has opened up a whole new world for me.
“The tutors at the Herlington hub were kind and very patient. I’m so glad I joined the free course because I can now be in regular contact with all my friends. I’d urge other people to give it a go.”
Dot, who lives in Orton Malborne, took one of the many free courses available.
Community area co-ordinator for the City College, Hedda Lilley, said: “Staff at the Herlington hub, can offer advice and guidance on many topics and people can use our IT facilities free. We also have regular support sessions for carers.”
Recent free courses have included basic Internet skills, blogging, Indian cookery and English classes. Future courses will include jewellery making, managing finances and cooking on a budget.
Community “Meet and Eat” sessions are also being held at community venues across the city to encourage people to make new friends while sharing a meal.
The hub, in the building used by Peterborough Community radio station, is open Monday to Friday 9-11.30am and 2-3.30pm. For more information, call Hedda on 01733 761361 or email HLilley@citycollegepeterborough.ac.uk