Today we made an elderly woman cry. You might ask why we feel the need to tell everybody about this on a blog, surely not something to boast about…
Actually in this case it is. You see this elderly woman (in her late 70’s) has MS and had a stroke; she lives in a rural village and has been unable to drive for the last year. She relies on friends and carers to take her out once in a while to get her shopping.
“All my friends live a long way away” she told me “I can call them on the ‘phone but sometimes I don’t see anyone for ages. I can’t get out now I don’t drive. I just feel so isolated.”
It’s not uncommon for us to hear similar stories from our learners, especially older learners. The villages they lived in for many years were great when they were able to drive or had a spouse or family who could take them places but when none of these are available they find themselves housebound and feeling isolated.
What reduced her to tears from our ‘phone call then? We called to discuss providing her with a tablet and an experienced tutor to teach her how to use it in her own home.
Some of our learners stay on our waiting list for quite a long time if they do not have equipment and we do not have funding to provide any. Due to the generosity of our funders we were able to start this woman on her journey to exploring the internet and to greater independence.
“I can’t tell you how grateful I am” she told us. We look forward to knowing how she progresses through reading her lesson reports pleased that we have made a difference to another person’s life.