Zoe and Joan

89 year old Joan, an actress, hasn't before felt the need to get acquainted with computers. However, having heard so much about the internet, Google, broadband and mice she felt it was never to late to see what it was all about.

Joan joined Digitall and was matched with Zoe, whose full time job involves working with young people aged 16-25. Zoe thought it might be interesting to volunteer with the older generation. She explains:

"Being a mentor on Digitall is a chance to help the older generation and get to know them a bit better by showing them that the internet and computers are not scary and can create huge benefits."

At their first meeting at the New Horizons centre in Chelsea, they chatted over a cup of tea about what Joan wanted to get out of their sessions. Joan says:

"I've been an actress all my life and didn't know anything about computers - they were a mystery to me but I thought I should learn. Once I'd got the handbook I read it but the one to one sessions with Zoe were really helpful."

Zoe started from the beginning; explaining about the keyboard, the mouse and showing Joan how to turn on the computer. They then progressed on to the internet, setting up an email account and Zoe explained how to use Google to look up information about theatres and travel - things that Joan would find particularly useful.

Digitall isn't just about the skills gained from the experience, Zoe explains:

"I don't have any grandparents and Joan doesn't have any children so it's been enlightening for both of us. It's been a great experience and makes you realise what you take for granted can be more difficult to someone else - in that way I’ve enjoyed sharing my skills and being able help someone at the same time."

Joan agrees:

"I think I've learnt more than I realise and it's been great spending time with Zoe, I've enjoyed her company - I'm really pleased I got involved."