A Year 11 student from Wigan is helping hundreds transform the lives of some of the borough’s most in need residents by helping them go digital.
Sam Boffey, who is a student at Standish High School and a UK Youth Parliament Member, was the first person to sign up to the TechMate programme organised by Wigan Council as a way of helping those in self isolation across the borough get online and use the internet to enhance their lives, keep in touch with loved ones, and look after themselves.
Through using his digital skills, Sam has helped numerous people over lockdown by connecting them with friends and family through technology.
Speaking on the TechMate programme, Sam said: “The TechMate scheme is a programme that was launched by the digital team of Wigan Council [and] it aims to help people who are socially isolated and don’t have access to digital technology to get online through the help of there own personal Tech Mate.
“The programme has been extremely beneficial to many people over lockdown and has enabled people to connect with friends and family through technology.”
He continued: “I was the first TechMate on the scheme and have helped to pioneer the programme and engage over 50 more people to get involved with the number constantly rising. The scheme is great and highly beneficial to me and to the learners.
“I would recommend anyone thinking of getting involved to sign up.”
So, what does being a TechMate actually involve then?
As a TechMate, people use their passion for digital to transform the lives of some of the borough’s most in need residents, while adding something invaluable to their CV.
Those involved will provide one-to-one support over the phone or via video to help people learn basic digital skills, such as using the internet, email and everyday apps, and communicating with friends and family online through social media and video calls.
Staying safe online, transacting online, using council and government services and banking / shopping, creating documents, and taking and sharing photos are amongst the other things support is provided for.
Most TechMate sessions run for one to two hours each week.
Participants are encouraged to keep things flexible and arrange calls at times that suit both them and their TechMate learner.
You can find more information and volunteer to become a TechMate via the Wigan Council website here.
Wrexham AFC announce Manchester United friendly with hilarious Sir Alex Ferguson video
Manchester United confirmed that they would be playing Wrexham AFC as part of their US tour on Tuesday, but the Welsh club’s Hollywood owners had a much better way of announcing the pre-season friendly.
While the Red Devils put out a simple statement revealing that one of their games would come against the resurgent Red Dragons, Wrexham‘s celebrity owners in Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney once again decided to put their acting to good use and inform their own fans of the upcoming match.
So, what’s the best way for a National League club to announce a massive fixture with one of the biggest sporting franchises in the world? Well, ideal scenario: getting a United legend and perhaps the greatest football manager of all time to help you do it would have quite the impact. Surely not?…
Yes, somehow, Rob and Ryan managed to convince Sir Alex Ferguson to be in the video and while they’re the ones known for their funny bones, it’s the gaffer who shines as the star of the show.
So good. We almost thought we were staring at a still image at one point and the gag was going to be along the lines of him not even being there while they wonder, ‘is he frozen’?, but the punchline was the perfect level of dry for Scotsman who is literally known for his infamous ‘hairdryer’.
Now, we’ve seen plenty of parodies and funny videos since the acting, writing and comedy-producing duo first bought the club back in November 2020, but I think it’s fair to say we never expected to see Sir Alex in a sketch.
Obviously, we’ve seen countless commercial ads involving United down the year working — including that time the players met Deadpool himself (remember that?) — but we can’t remember the legendary coach ever getting involved with these kinds of shenanigans before.
Suppose retirement has given him the free time to focus on the things he enjoys: i.e. more United.
As detailed in the video and United’s tour teaser at the start of the week, the two teams will be playing in a pre-season friendly at the Snapdragon Stadium in San Diego on July 25 later this year.
Not only will there be plenty of American Reds piling through the doors this summer, but there’s also sure to be a fair few transatlantic Wrexham supporters too, as the story of the club’s takeover has captured the attention of millions, especially after their hugely popular documentary series.
To make things even cooler, it isn’t the only connection between the Devils and the Dragons we’ve seen of late either, as former United keeper and Premier League veteran Ben Foster came out of retirement to sign for Wrexham 18 years on from his previous loan spell. What a coup
Reynolds even popped up in his latest matchday vlog. Wrexham really is one of the strangest sporting stories we’ve witnessed in quite some time.
And that’s just part of the first wave of celebrity contestants – more famous faces will take part in I’m A Celebrity… South Africa, entering the camp as the series goes on.
The new series will ‘push them to their limits and test them like never before’, ITV has said, promising bigger and tougher challenges and an even harsher environment.
Also taking part from the launch episode will be Diversity star Jordan Banjo, TV presenter Carol Vorderman, Olympian Fatima Whitbread, former royal butler Paul Burrell, ex-England cricketer Phil Tufnell, and supermodel Janice Dickinson.
ITV said: “Whilst nodding back to the Australian jungle, I’m A Celebrity…South Africa is a uniquely different series so viewers can look forward to lots of unexpected twists and turns.”