“I felt great using the computer, at 94 years of age it was my first time, and the [Spring Online] session made me more in touch with what’s going on!”
A staggering 2,500 free digital taster events were held between (16-20 May) as part of Spring Online with Silver Surfers’ Day, making this the best ever ‘silver surfers’ campaign for Digital Unite since its inception ten years ago.
With an average of 20 people attending each event, this amazing event tally means that around 50,000 older people, at least, would have been personally helped to use computers and the internet during Spring Online week.
The events reached all corners of the UK, from Pontypridd to Belfast, Edinburgh to Truro with no venue proving to be out of bounds for hosting a digital taster session. From housing associations to hospitals, paper mills to pubs, village halls to libraries, museums to offices, the variety of locations, large and small, has been extensive.
Here are a few of the positive stories received from those who took part:
- A gentleman in his early sixties had applied for a job several years earlier and felt stupid as he couldn’t use the mouse or work his way round the test on the computer screen. This made him determined to learn about IT but then he had a stroke. At the Silver Surfers’ Day event he enjoyed all the mouse exercises, felt much happier and more confident and learnt how to use Google to find IT courses in his area.
- One lady had relatives on a farm in the outback of Australia and at her event was shown how to bring up the relative's Facebook page and all the news about them. She was over the moon and wanted to join Facebook immediately.
- One lady learnt how to email her soldier grandson in Afghanistan and was amazed to get an instant reply.
- Joyce, aged 73 years, was moved to tears when she saw photographs online of where she used to live. “I never knew you could see things like this on the internet, this is wonderful, coming here today was the best thing I could have done.”
Entries for the Best Event Award 2011 have now closed. Winners will be announced on www.springonline.org in due course. The shortlist will be featured on the Spring Online website next week, 13 June so let them know which event story is your favourite by emailing email@example.com. Digital Unite would also love to feature any event pictures on their website so please forward them on to firstname.lastname@example.org.