Barbara has been keeping in touch with family abroad online, and making new friends, since getting help with the internet at her local Online Centre.
After being injured in a mugging, Barbara had to retire early. She says: “I was mugged walking home from work - it was horrendous. I wasn’t planning on retiring at 60 but my injury meant my plans had to change.”
This led to Barbara spending a lot of time at home on her own, until she was told about Online Centre the Lighthouse Project in Middleton by her son. Barbara says: “It was through him that I went, he’d got help there with finding work and had been a volunteer. I didn’t know where to start with computers but Pam at the Lighthouse Project put me through Learn My Way.”
Regular sessions on Learn My Way, the free online learning platform for internet beginners, became a great way for Barbara to make new friends. She says: “A place like this is my social life, especially as I live on my own. If I didn’t go out, I often wouldn’t see anyone from one week to the next.”
Barbara has even brought her “partner in crime” Carol along with her, who was initially apprehensive about using computers. Carol’s now working through the courses on Learn My Way herself.
Barbara has made lifelong friends at the Lighthouse Project and is now doing more online. She says: ”I do my own little thing online - sending emails to my cousin in San Francisco, I recently even changed my gas tariff online too, it helps with everyday things. It’s great.”
For Barbara, none of it would have been possible without the friendly support she got at the Lighthouse Project - “I’d be heartbroken if this place went anywhere, it’s an absolute Godsend!”