A Hanover estate manager chatting with residents

Keep learning

Learning new things makes us more confident as well as being fun. This may involve trying something new or rediscovering an old interest.

  • We make information available about adult learning opportunities in the local area
  • We can organise a learning open day on estates to promote the opportunities that are available
  • We encourage residents to share their skills and abilities with their neighbours
  • We offer the Greenshoots funding programme to support those who want to try something exciting and new, and those who want to set up a small business
  • We are currently promoting the Men’s Sheds initiative to provide places of skill-sharing and informal learning, of individual pursuits and community projects, of purpose, achievement and social interaction

After reading an article about training to help get online in a previous edition of Hanover News, residents at Hanover Court Colindale are now regularly using the internet and connecting with each other more than they ever have before.

Following some successful taster sessions provided by We Are Digital, with the support of their estate manager residents agreed to set up a committee and a bank account so that they could apply for funds for training to help them get online.

We Are Digital helped with the application forms: one for the Awards for All programme and one for Hanover’s own Greenshoots programme. Both applications were successful, giving the residents a total of over £10,000 to spend on the project.

The funds have been used to set up two group training courses and some one-to-one sessions, and the cost of the internet connection at the estate for the next two years. There were also enough funds to purchase 20 refurbished laptops for residents to use and then take home to practice what they had learnt.

Estate manager Miriam Umoh said: ‘The residents are really enjoying the course. Feedback is very positive and they are eager to keep attending. On top of that, people now socialise more with each other too.’

Alan Jones, who helped to set up the group, said: ‘It’s absolutely brilliant! He’s a really good tutor, very understanding. I didn’t know anything but it wasn’t as difficult as I thought.’

If you would like more information about getting online please speak to your estate manager.

Jessie Hall from Hanover Court, Haxby enjoyed her first trombone lesson on her 93rd birthday back in August 2016. The lesson took place during a special event to mark the completion of a major estate refurbishment project. New windows, doors, Juliette balconies, cladding and insulation have been provided, helping residents to save money on their heating bills. The estate also now boasts a new lounge and a newly landscaped garden.

Jessie said: ‘My trombone lesson is a brilliant birthday treat. I am really pleased with the look and feel of our estate thanks to Hanover and its architects, who have given it a stunning facelift.’

A number of Hanover residents prove that age is no barrier to learning new skills in later life. These include a skydiver, a writer, an astrophysicist, and a man who overcame disability to take up competitive sailing.

Brian Fox from Hanover Gardens, Bicester experienced his first charity parachute jump at the age of 70! He finally decided to take the plunge at the Hinton Skydiving Centre, Stean, Northants. On the day he was joined by his son Steven and sky diving instructor Geoff Wood.

Brian says: ‘I have always wanted to sky dive but my wife Barbara was always worried for my safety. After her death I decided to fulfil my ambition and raise money for a worthy cause.

‘I would recommend sky diving to anyone keen to take the plunge. The adrenaline rush has certainly raised my spirits. For my next challenge I am planning a wing walk on my 75th birthday!’

76-year-old Kathleen Horner from Popple Well Springs, Tadcaster has taken her first cooking masterclass thanks to regional catering provider Caterplus.

Since moving to the estate in 2011, Kathleen has taken part in many of the estate-based activities and regularly holds small dinner parties for friends and family. She particularly enjoys baking cakes and fresh bread, and would love to cook just like her favourite chef, Marco Pierre White.

Kathleen said: ‘When I first heard that I would be attending the masterclass I felt very excited but a little intimidated.

‘I have to say they were very patient and have taught me a few tricks of the trade which I can’t wait to put to the test!’

Paul Watson, Catering Manager at Popple Well Springs said: ‘Kathleen was a very able student. For some time she has been very keen to create the perfect starter and ended up making a very tasty soup with Artisan bread.’

Following the class, Kathleen and other residents were treated to a three-course gala dinner, cooked by the award-winning Caterplus chefs.