Bell Green Silver Surfers project members

“The group has evolved, there is the odd IT problem here and there but now members just like getting together to have a coffee and chat.”

In Wolverhampton, both men and women can expect to live on average five years less in good health than the average for England because of the disadvantage they will experience throughout their lives.

Health Lottery West Midlands is helping to address health inequalities in Wolverhampton and surrounding areas of the West Midlands by raising money to support local community projects.

To date, The Health Lottery in the West Midlands has supported 203 projects in the region.

Surfing the web can often be a daunting task but not for the Bradley Silver Surfers, who received a £17,900 grant from People’s Health Trust with money raised through The Health Lottery in the West Midlands.

The funding has enabled the group to set up an IT and computer club which provides project members, aged 70+,with the confidence they need to explore the web at ease and fix minor technology problems - be it a laptop or smart phone.

The project attracts around 35 project members twice a week who are keen to improve their computer skills whilst they share knowledge, tips and help others in the community.

Raphael Duckett, Project Leader, discussed how rewarding it can be for project members to learn new skills and accomplish a new task on the internet.

He said: “For what may seem like an easy or mundane task for others, often the revelation of being able to do something you couldn’t do before can be quite emotional.”

“One of our projects members, whose family live abroad has learned to video call using Skype and can now speak to his children at the click of a button. The delight shown when he was able to see their faces was invaluable and makes the project so worth it.”

The project meets twice a week and has progressed to become part of the local community, with project members often attending simply to chat, and enjoy the company of one another.

Raphael Duckett said: “The group has evolved, there is the odd IT problem here and there but now members just like getting together to have a coffee and chat.”

Chris Lunn, spokesperson from Health Lottery West Midlands, said: “To date, over £106 has been raised for charities across Great Britain, of which over £8 million has been raised for the West Midlands. We hope to assist more good causes and you can make a real difference by purchasing a ticket this month.”

Throughout the month of February, money raised from ticket sales will help to fund projects in the West Midlands.

To read more news from the Trust, click here.

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