Reports suggest there are over 26,000 lonely older people in the Calder Valley.
In order to help these people and many others to use computers, I and Stephen Matthews formed a partnership which we ran for over a year and then reformed into a not-for-profit community interest company called Stoodley Training Mentors, granted by Companies House.
We have proved over and over again the way in which we can open a new world using computers to members of our community, in an easier and more interesting way which many people have not realised.
Indeed we have featured in your paper under the Staying Well programme on more than one occasion.
We have managed to gather a team of mentors of the highest calibre. Together we have over 200 years of computer experience We pay these mentors a small amount which is well below their normal commercial rates and we charge our students over 60 £5.50 per hour which is well below our costs. We appreciate many of the people we are trying to reach have limited financial means. We will not ask for volunteers and will not offer our services for no charge unless there is funding to cover a particular project.
I am 70 years old and have so far funded this project with over £7,000 of my savings and only because I think it would enhance the lives of many people. I take no remuneration nor do I expect to. I have spent many years of volunteering at Hebden Bridge and Todmorden Libraries and at the Acorn Centre in Todmorden helping people to use computers.
I am unable to sustain this funding without the help of funding organisations.
We have approached several of these organisations. However, with the exception of Todmorden Town Council we have been turned down. I cannot understand why these organisations do not understand the value of what we are trying to do. We believe that our project is worthy of consideration.
We will continue as long as we able to but without help our project will inevitably wither and die.