Service Section - Technology Project with Ryman Healthcare

Five young people have given up part of their summer holidays to help open up a whole new world to older Christchurch residents in hospital care. Ryman Healthcare have launched a new initiative, aimed at assisting the residents in their Retirement Villages throughout the country to learn how to use touch screen tablets. The tablets will be available for residents use to browse the internet, watch programmes, play games or send and receive emails. Young people have been invited to come to the Retirement Villages and spend time with the residents teaching them how to use the tablets. 

A pilot for this programme has been run at Ngaio Marsh Retirement Village in Papanui. Two young women doing their Silver Service, Chloe Jenkins and Emma Palmer, from Rangi Ruru Girls' School have been volunteering with the project over the summer holidays. Residents have enjoyed being able to use Google Earth to see the houses and cities that they grew up in. Chloe assisted one resident to lookup her childhood home in South Africa and said that "Her (the resident's) face lit up when she saw her old home. It was amazing!"

 Ryman Healthcare activities and lifestyle manager Nicki Brown has developed the pilot programme. She is keen to have other young people get involved in the programme as they look to roll it out in their other Retirement Villages throughout the country. “We’re so grateful to the girls who are helping. They’re great teachers and I think they’ve been surprised at how much they benefit from spending time with the residents as well.’’ If you would like to volunteer for this programme please contact Nicki Brown .

“The hardest thing is saying it is time to go, they enjoy it so much and they don’t want us to leave,’’ Chloe said.

Thank you to Ryman Healthcare for this article.    

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