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Like many seniors, Sheena had no family nearby to show her how to use her new iPad. So, she asked a friend to help her start a group for older people to learn to use this new technology. The Rockingham iPad Group, now known as Switched on Seniors, was formed. Sheena hoped someone would come who would show her how to use her iPad.


Vain hope! They advertised the start of the group by distributing a flyer among friends who said “BYO iPad”. Twelve people came to the first meeting and 18 to the second! Only half on each occasion brought an iPad because they were keen to learn about it before they considered buying. So their first task was to apply for funding to buy iPads for the group.


Sheena and her friend Irene led the group on a journey of discovery. Numbers grew when attendees brought their friends and neighbours. Rather than have a waiting list, many who had learned how to use their iPads through the group became the Switched-on Senior teachers of new beginners. In this way, the group model based on Seniors teaching seniors through mutual help and sharing was born. Running since 2012, about 30 people attend the original group each week, with another two groups in the Rockingham area helping between 12 and 20 people every week. Independent groups also run in some metropolitan and country areas.

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