Summerfield Court Makes Russian Friends

Thanks to the wonders of technology residents at Summerfield court have been making video contact with their peers in a Russian town.  The Housing 21 court, based in Stone has been ‘Skypeing’ residents from an older people's scheme in Ivanvo called Golden Autumn; an event which even attracted the Russian TV cameras. Residents had the opportunity to ask their Russian counterparts questions about their lives through an interpreter. Some of the subjects covered were, care services, pensions and, of course, the weather. What was supposed to be a one hour exchange ended up lasting nearly three hours.

This exciting opportunity was created after the Mayor from Ivanvo, Mr. Vladislav Sverchkov, visited Summerfield court back in November. He had hoped that the court would become pen pals with Golden Autumn. The court went one better and suggested a 'Skype pal' club as they had recently had computers installed in the court as part of the Government's Get Digital project and had learnt how to use Skype.

The computer program Skype allows people to phone other computers for free, anywhere in the world; webcams can also be used so that live images of the people using the computer can be seen and heard. The Summer field – Golden Autumn exchange proved very popular, with nearly 20 residents being involved at both schemes and members of Staffordshire County Council also attending at the Summerfield end. The two schemes hope to communicate again next month.