RUSSELL JONES had never even switched on a tablet computer before receiving one as a gift last Christmas.
The 76 year-old, from Ewloe, admits he struggled with technology before signing up to a Coleg Cambria Skills for Adults course earlier this year.
Russell attended the free Using a Tablet class at Mold library and is now able to stay in touch with family, browse the internet and keep up to date with latest news, sports and weather reports.
The sessions finished just as the Coronavirus outbreak was taking hold in the UK, so the timing could not have been better for the Wrexham AFC fan.
“As I’m over 70 I went into self-isolation and lockdown from March onwards,” he said.
“I am so lucky that I had joined the course because otherwise I don’t know what I’d have done. I couldn’t work the tablet at all when I started, even the volume buttons and screen rotation left me a little confused.
“But after a few lessons I got the hang of it, and thank goodness I did because in past months I was able to keep in touch with my family on video calls, connect with people and keep up to date with what has been happening in the world via the internet.”
Russell added: “The tablet was a real support mechanism, allowing me to do all kinds of things I wouldn’t have been able to otherwise.”
A volunteer at Mold Community Hospital and Cariad, a group working with mental health and abuse sufferers, he has missed that public interaction.
But by using the tablet the former teacher has been able to embrace a virtual world previously unbeknown to him.
“I had never sent emails, attachments and things like that, so I have to give so much credit to the college for helping me to learn,” added Russell.
“It was a relaxed and informal setting, which gave me confidence. When I came along to the library I thought I would be completely lost but I was immediately reassured because the tutor and all of the group were so friendly and supportive.
“That made a huge impact on me and helped me to overcome that fear of the unknown and go for it.
“I look forward to taking further courses in the community in the future and learning even more about technology thanks to Coleg Cambria.”