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IT sessions help 99-year-old Kathleen get online for family time

21 November 2016

Kathleen Mysberg with Age UK Sheffield digital inclusion volunteer Paul Leman and her tablet device which she has learned to use to video call relatives.A 99-year-old Sheffield woman is staying in touch with relatives down south after learning to Skype video call at internet help sessions run by a city charity.


Kathleen Mysberg has paid tribute to the sessions run by Age UK Sheffield for helping her get online and in touch with her family in Oxfordshire - and giving them peace of mind.


A keen artist specialising in oil and watercolour painting, Kathleen also keeps active by going to the gym at Ponds Forge through the discount deal offered by the Friends of Age UK Sheffield scheme.


But it is the scheme’s internet and IT sessions that have particularly benefited the 99-year-old – by teaching her to ‘Skype’ relatives including her niece in Oxfordshire using her tablet device.


Originally from Merseyside, Kathleen, who was widowed in World War Two, first moved to Sheffield to be nearer friends in 1946 and worked as a hospital catering manager at the then Wharncliffe and Middlewood Hospitals until the early 1950s.


Kathleen moved down south to train with the King’s Fund on a year-long course including placements at hospitals cross London, before becoming district manager for the Tumbridge Wells Health Authority. 


She returned to Sheffield in the early 1980s after visiting a friend she was going on holiday with and finding out a ‘nice flat’ was available in the city.


Kathleen, who lives near Norfolk Park, said: “The sessions have helped me keep in touch with my relatives that are living down south and it gives them peace of mind, too, to hear from me.”


She was taught how to video call her niece Suzanne in Oxfordshire by Age UK Sheffield digital inclusion volunteer Paul Leman.


Andy Callard, business development manager at Age UK Sheffield, said: “When Kathleen first used Skype and saw her niece on screen on her tablet device she simply said: ‘oh my goodness’! It was a wonderful reaction and it made my day.


“While we know social isolation can be a big issue for the older community, digital exclusion is increasingly becoming the big issue to tackle because so much of our modern life and communication takes place online. 


“Kathleen is a very active member of her local community and so it has been great to be able to help her stay in touch more frequently with family members living elsewhere by helping her strengthen her IT and internet skills.”


The IT and technology sessions, which are free to members of the Friends of Age UK Sheffield scheme, are held at The Crucible Theatre Café Bar between 1pm and 3pm every third Thursday of every month.


Anyone interested in finding out more about Friends of Age UK Sheffield or the IT drop-in sessions should call 0114 250 2850 or click here


An independent, local organisation, Age UK Sheffield is dedicated to supporting older people in the city, particularly those who are vulnerable or isolated, to help them regain and retain independence and get the most out of life.