Future looks digital for retired decorator

Don Coughtrey
Don Coughtrey

A 78-year-old man from Hemel Hempstead has proved you are never too old to learn.

Don Coughtrey triumphed at this years’ Learner Awards, winning the Peer Award, in the annual event held by the Hertfordshire Adult and Family Learning Service (HAFLS) which celebrates the achievements of individuals and groups.

Don proved that you are never too old to get to grips with technology.

After retiring from his job as a painter and decorator and moving to sheltered housing at William Crook House, he wanted to interact more with his family and friends by learning basic digital skills to help him get online.

Don said: “I have never been involved with any sort of technology. My grandchildren always had to order things for me online and they were always encouraging me to gain more digital skills.”

After attending a HAFLS coffee morning at William Crook House he decided to join one of the courses and develop more of a working knowledge of technology.

He said: “The course was very well run and I enjoyed the lessons. I wish it had gone on longer. I learnt a lot and the tutors were very helpful and patient.”

His enthusiasm and hard work paid off when he scooped the Peer Award at the HAFLS Learner Awards, after learning how to use a computer tablet.

He added: “I enjoy seeing all their pictures and videos, as well as emailing and keeping in touch. I’m planning to do a Skype course so I can video call my family around the country, which will be fantastic.”

Don now talks at HAFLS coffee mornings to encourage others of his generation to take up similar opportunities.

He said: “I got so much from it the course that I wanted to give something back. I explain to those who don’t have friends or family who live nearby that getting online is a way of feeling close to them every day.”

Visit www.hertfordshire.gov.uk or call the HAFLS team on 01992 556194.