Carrick-on-Suir's Alice Wall (right) with well-known TV and radio personality Baz Ashmawy and his mum Nancy.
Carrick-on-Suir’s Golden IT Award nominee Alice Wall was part of the celebrations at a ceremony in Dublin this week which recognised the achievements of older people using technology and the internet as well as the volunteers who teach these skills.
The category award went to retired Wexford garda John Hayes who left school at 13 years old to help on the family farm, but his determination to succeed drove him to teach himself to read and write at the age of 20 so he could join An Garda Síochána and serve his local community.
Nonetheless, Alice is proud of her progress, and was thrilled to meet with media personality Baz Ashmawy and his mum at the glamourous awards event.
Alice’s late son Jim bought her a computer four years ago and she contacted the Education and Training Board in Carrick-on-Suir for their assistance with getting to grips with the basics.
“My son Jim and his family were moving to Sweden and he bought me a computer so I could Skype, see the kids jumping around and send emails. I started going to computer classes in the Nano Nagle Centre and it's one of the best things I have ever done. I do everything online now, from banking to paying the car tax,” Alice tells South Tipp Today.
Alice has since achieved a number of QQI Level 3 modules including computer literacy, word processing, internet skills and communication. She now uses email, texts, Facebook and Skype to keep in touch with family and friends and says her new skills have given her a profound sense of self-confidence.
But Alice had her struggles along the way, continuing: “My son Jim got cancer and passed away, and I really thought I wouldn’t keep going to the computer classes. But I decided to continue in his memory, and I can't do without my computer anymore.
“I shattered my wrist a year ago and was laid up for a while, but I’m back at it now and looking forward to developing my skills further.
“My teachers Maria Clancy and John O’Driscoll really helped me along the way, and I would highly recommend the classes to anyone who struggles with computers,” Alice advises.