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Let's Go Back to Basics This Year...

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LARRY LAMB
Alamy

If someone had told me 30 years ago that kids in the Twenty Tens would be complete whizzes on digital products called Blackberrys and iPads but didn't have a clue how to hammer a nail into a piece of wood, I would have had to laugh.

But the truth is, in this new digital age where knowledge of social media is ever growing and the younger generation are all experts on Twitter and Facebook, many of them don't know what to do when something needs fixing; they know everything there is to know about digital technology but nothing about the basic day-to-day practical skills. Take my son George; he's in radio and TV, has thousands of fans and constantly on his mobile but would need a lot of advice if confronted with a broken table leg!

When I was growing up, young lads were encouraged to learn a trade as well as having an academic education to prepare us for the future; learning some basic practical skills was considered necessary even for those going to university!

I picked up my DIY skills from my grandfather who was always walking around the house seeing what he could fix next and I was right by his side. I learnt a lot from him, he was a real Mr Fix-it, and then I picked up more skills working on building sites in my teens and twenties. In my forties it all started to pay off when my partner and I bought a dilapidated farmhouse in Normandy. It took over our lives for years, but little by little, the old wreck evolved into a beautiful home- and all that, from watching and learning from people who knew how to use the tools and do the jobs. Without a doubt, a truly life changing and thoroughly rewarding experience.

It all came about from just honing these basic skills, skills that if practiced today, could save UK families up to £2,000 a year. I recently got on board with Clas Ohlson's Clas Acts Campaign - recruiting every day people with these skills to impart their know-how to the rest of the nation.

We've all got used to computers doing the work for us and it's a shame the younger generation are losing out on acquiring these practical skills. So we created a digital home for all of the nation's useful knowledge so that the younger generations can easily access the vast amount of talent and expertise offered by the over 65's.

If we can try and pass on our practical know how to our sons, daughters, nieces and nephews, then we can ensure the next generation can grow up not only knowing how to sling an Angry Bird using just their middle finger, but also how to fix the fixable bits and pieces around the house without spending fortunes.

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