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Walmley’s latest ‘silver surfers’ receive award from local MP

Andrew Mitchell MP has visited Walmley Library in Sutton Coldfield to present recent ‘graduates’ of First Click computer sessions with certificates of achievement.

Mr Mitchell met with staff and “silver surfer pupils” to talk about their computer sessions and then presented certificates to all those who have recently finished the course.

Walmley Library offers BBC First Click computer sessions to first time users, over 55 years of age, across Sutton Coldfield.

Launched in October 2010, the BBC’s two year campaign aims to give people who have little or no experience of computers the confidence to use them, and help them take their first steps on the internet.

The Office for National Statistics estimates that 20% of people in the West Midlands have never used the internet, with 9.2 million people across the UK yet to go online.

The course at Walmley Library involves one-to-one, hour long sessions which cover basic computer skills including searching the internet, how to send and receive emails plus advice on staying safe online. The library aims to provide a friendly, informal atmosphere which encourages people to grow in confidence with each session they attend.

Their star pupil, Mrs Yapp, is 92 years of age and since taking the course has been able to confidently use email to keep in touch with relatives around the world. The library now has over twenty people who have passed the course.

Andrew Mitchell MP said, “It is quite obvious from the ladies and gentlemen that I have spoken to here tonight that their newfound computer skills will prove invaluable to them. In a digital world where the internet is so accessible, it is important that no one is left behind. Many congratulations to all the staff at Walmley Library who are doing a brilliant job helping people to understand the internet and enjoy its benefits.”

Sarah Chinnock, Community Librarian at Walmley said, “Our sincere thanks to Andrew Mitchell for attending the ceremony and the kind words spoken to the graduates, it was a lovely, inspiring evening.”

First Click Beginners' Computer Courses are currently running in all libraries in Sutton Coldfield and throughout the West Midlands. Anyone seeking further information on the BBC’s free courses should contact their local Sutton Coldfield library or call the BBC’s free phone line, 0800 0150 950, which is open from 8am to 10pm, seven days a week.

Andrew Mitchell visits Walmley Library to meet staff and “silver surfer pupils” at First Click computer sessions

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