Youth led IT workshop breaks down barriers between generations
Published by Nadia Khan for Brent Housing Partnership in Housing and also in Communities, Local Government
Youth lead IT session for older residents
Brent Housing Partnership’s (BHP) award winning Youth Editorial Board ventured on a new intergenerational project to promote understanding between younger and older people on estates in Brent.
The Youth Editorial Board used the popular medium of IT to engage with residents on the St Raphael’s Estate in Neasden on Monday 3 September. The hour-and-a-half session was run entirely by the group of young people who showed residents how to set up an email address, send mail, use facebook and make effective use of search engines.
The session was held in a community centre in the heart of St Raphael’s Estate. The attendance was excellent; the room was full and every young person paired up with one resident giving them one-to-one support.
On housing estates, there can be tension between older and younger generations which is brought about through lack of interaction and negative media representation of young people. On this occasion, young people were taking the initiative to reach out and engage with older residents which proved to be very effective. As well as residents learning new skills, they were also able to talk with young people in a relaxed environment which helped break down barriers and commonly held misconceptions that all young people are troublemakers.
Peter Nugent, 19, who led the IT session said: "It was a great opportunity to interact with older generations, meet new people and be able to pass on knowledge and skills that we have in IT. It's always rewarding to be able to give something back to the community and especially in an area that is rarely given enough attention”.
Mrs Vashani, a local resident, attended the session and said: “I thought that the IT session was extremely useful. The young people were very patient and helpful; they know so much more than me about computers as they have grown up with this technology, it comes naturally to them. I really enjoyed myself and particularly liked meeting other people from the estate and the young people as well”.
Brenda Linton, Vice-Chair of the St Raphael’s Residents’ Association said: “The computer training went very well, I was very impressed with how helpful the Youth Editorial Board were. The residents learnt to create facebook and email accounts. Some said they were afraid to use the computer before attending the session but now feel more confident. The event was a real success”.