Waiheke Adult Learning manager Jo Nuttall with Mary Webb, who has been upskilling with classes at the centre. Photo Erin Johnson

Waiheke residents are taking full advantage of support offered by Waiheke Adult Learning to bridge the technological divide.

Waiheke Adult Learning has begun running regular workshops and classes to help people overcome access issues and increase their digital skills since Citizens Advice Bureau research last year showed that one in 20 Waiheke Islanders either have no access to the online world or are forced to deal with restrictions accessing it. 

Nancy Fergus-Story is someone who is making the most of the support on offer. When she bought a smartphone and took it home, it started ringing but as much as she touched the large green spot on the screen, nothing happened.

“I realised I was in trouble,” says Nancy, who called Waiheke Adult Learning (WAL).

“I found learning hard at first and understanding the process, I must say, a bit of a headache. But gradually it all started to come together and sink in.”

With Covid changing how we shop, bank and pay our bills, Nancy says computers are becoming a must. But on buying a computer, she found herself back at the beginning of learning.

“You get the feeling you’ll never get the hang of it. One doesn’t need headaches. I didn’t like the time I was putting into learning the computer when I had other things to do.”

However, starting off with beginners courses at Waiheke Adult Learning, Nancy says she has found much kindness, warmth and patience from the teachers. 

“What a relief. May I say a whole new world opens up before you. One you didn’t realise existed,” says Nancy, a painter, who is now undertaking a course on Instagram for Creatives. • Erin Johnson


Subscribe and read Gulf News and Waiheke Weekender Online