Acclaimed actress Miriam Margolyes has made a video in support of SCoJeC’s Jewish Inter-Links project. In her message, designed to encourage older people to "get connected", the 71 year old Harry Potter star, whose father was a member of Glasgow’s Jewish community, says: “Nothing I’ve done in my life except learning to drive has given me so much independence and freedom and opportunity to connect to people all over the world”.
Jewish Inter-Links will enable ten volunteers from around the country – students or other young people, retired people, or anyone else with time and relevant experience – to visit older Jewish people in their own homes or in residential accommodation, and encourage them to get online. The volunteers will be given training by ACE IT in Edinburgh, from whose award-winning project, The Moose in the Hoose, Jewish Inter-Links drew its inspiration.
Jewish Inter-Links addresses two of the issues frequently raised in SCoJeC's Being Jewish in Scotland project; that many older Jewish people in Scotland are concerned about losing touch with grandchildren and great-grandchildren who are scattered around the world, and that many Jewish students would like to be more connected to their local Jewish community. It puts those two groups in touch with one another, and teach older people to use the internet to keep in touch with their families – and, thanks to funding from the Voluntary Action Fund, we will also be able to provide computing equipment to those who need it.
"I urge all of you to take up the opportunity to get on the net," says Miriam Margolyes, "learn how to send emails, use skype to talk to your grandchildren, and just enjoy all the opportunities that this new technology is giving us “old folk”. Go on, have a go! Best of luck!”
We are inviting volunteers in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, and elsewhere to join those from St Andrews who have already committed themselves to the project – for more information contact: