Brisbane Seniors Online (BSOL) had a visit last week from Hayley Schorn of the Brisbane Airport Giving Fund. In November 2021, Brisbane Seniors Online generously received a grant from them for promotion and advertising with the aim of recruiting more learners and volunteer mentors.

Hayley Schorn visited Brisbane Seniors Online Central headquarters at Woolloongabba to find out more about what BSOL does and how they can further help us continue in providing a great service to seniors and over 50s in the local community and across the Greater Brisbane area.

Brisbane Seniors Online (BSOL) has been operating in the Greater Brisbane area for over 20 years. It is a not-for-profit community organisation that has no paid staff and provides home tuition for learners who are over 50 or seniors in their own home. Tutoring is provided by volunteer empathetic unpaid mentors on one-on-one lessons who teach learners on their own device and at a pace that suits them. More volunteer mentors are desperately needed to help with an influx of new learners in many areas.

BSOL teaches Android, Apple and Windows devices as well as smart phones. Mentors also help learners identify scams and how to avoid them. In 2019, scams cost Australians over $634 million which was an increase of 34% from 2018. With coronavirus and the closing down of more shopfronts and bank branches, people confined to home more during restrictions, more online transactions are now being done from home. This has created a higher risk of fraud and scams. Identity theft has increased and will continue to increase.

Learners learn how to keep their devices up to date with patches and updates to make them safe to use. Being able to use technology to stay connected is beneficial in minimising social isolation and risks to mental health of residents confined to their homes due to mobility, transport and previous coronavirus restrictions.

Whilst new learners are always welcome, there is also a desperate need for more volunteer mentors across many areas of Brisbane who can confidently teach all or any of the operating systems such as Android, Apple and Windows. Ideally, mentors need to be of a similar age as their learners which makes learners more comfortable during their home lessons. The average age of learners is 74. Home lessons on your own device is more conducive to learning quickly. Male and female mentors are available. An affordable annual fee of $20 joining (one off) and $45 a year gives learners around 12 hours of lessons and ongoing support for the year.

Brisbane Seniors Online can be contacted on 3393 2225 or see Also, on Facebook.

Cover image supplied: (left to right) Angela (office volunteer); Hayley Schorn (Brisbane Airport Giving Fund) and Ron Horst (President of Brisbane Seniors Online).