Being online opens up a world of opportunities.
She may be half a world away but Irene Gray will still be able to keep in touch with her great granddaughter – thanks to the power of the internet.
Irene, 71, of west Hull, was one of nearly a dozen people who turned up for some extra IT guidance at the first of KCOM’s get online sessions which are being held at libraries across the East Riding.
And her main priority was being able to video call her six-year-old great granddaughter who emigrated to Canada with her family recently.
“That’s my main priority,” says Irene. “My granddaughter and her family emigrated a month ago and now lives just outside Vancouver. I do miss them but thanks to the internet I am able to keep in touch with them.
“She bought me this tablet before she left and we’ve been sending each other pictures and messages - and she’s even given me a tour of their new home. It’s amazing what you can do really.
“I’m not that confident about using the internet but I’m getting better. And the more I practice the better I get. I came along today just to practise how to do things like search on Google. I want to search things like flights to Canada – they’ve only been gone a month and we’re already planning a visit!
”It’s just nice to have someone there to give you a few pointers in case I get stuck. I’ve found it very interesting and useful today. Usually it’s in one ear and out the other, but I’ve taken notes and I’ll go home and practise now!”
Irene attended the first get online launch session at Hessle Library, which KCOM jointly hosted with East Riding of Yorkshire Council in a bid to help more people enjoy the benefits of using the internet.
The two hour sessions will continue at Willerby Library at 2pm on Thursday, 15 March, and Swanland Library at 9am on Wednesday, 21 March.
After this first batch of sessions it’s hoped the scheme will expand into other libraries within the East Riding such as Hedon, Haltemprice and Cottingham.
Patricia Peck, 74, also of west Hull, came along to the session to get a few Facebook pointers.
As well as learning how to respond to instant messenger she also discovered the joy of sending emojis.
She said: “I haven’t had this computer for long so I’m still finding my feet with it really. But I’d definitely recommend people come along to one of these if they’re not too sure about how to use computers. I’ve got a lot of useful information and I do feel more confident about getting online.
“I’ve even managed to find the City of Culture website and had a look at that.
For more details about forthcoming get online library sessions visit www2.eastriding.gov.uk/leisure/libraries/library-events/