Fourteen-year-old Mya Taylor from Christchurch has become her nan’s very own ‘techspert, “like most people my age”, she says.

Devices like smart phones and laptops should make navigating our ever-increasing digital world easier. But for the elderly this isn’t always the case.

Helping her grandparents with their devices got Mya thinking about other elderly who may be in the same boat.

“If this is a common issue and other people my Nan’s age are struggling with their devices, I want to help,” she says.

In Aotearoa around 35% of those who are aged over 75 have no internet access. About 20% of that same group aren’t confident to go online, because of online scams.

Mya decided to create her own technology lessons for the elderly, and that idea brought her to Fair Go.

With the show’s help, she found a retirement village, Russley Village, that was keen to host her for a day.

Russley Village’s Jeanette McEachen says technology is a lifeline for their residents.

“Lockdown was a really upsetting time for a lot of our residents and I think it was important for them to stay connected and feel that they still had a sense of belonging within the village.”

Running the lessons at Russley Village made Mya think about opening the idea up to other retirement villages and her wider community.

Her school Rangi Ruru Girls’ thinks she should take the idea further too.

Principal Sandra Hastie is offering support and says “getting other students involved, as Mya goes through school and gets to Year 13, it could be her legacy”.

Mya is one of the winners of Fair Go’s annual Consumer Heroes competition, which champions young people to find solutions to problems they see in their community.

Watch the news story on One News here.

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