Drive urges older people to get online
Published on 11 April 2013 11:30 AM
A new campaign is being launched this month aimed at creating thousands of new silver surfers.
It comes as new figures suggest that many of the older generation are being left behind by the internet era.
More than 7 million residents in the UK have never used the web - that's around 1 in 9 people. 9 out of 10 of these (6.3 million) are aged over 55.
Spring Online initiative wants to give thousands of older people and less confident users their first taste of digital technology from April 22.
As many as 30,000 people were helped to get online, many for the first time, by Spring Online's 2,000 nationwide events last year.
This year's events for Spring Online are being held in many diverse locations.
These include a candle factory, a paper mill, a London street market, the DVLA in Swansea, a job centre in Salford and the Peace Factory in Northern Ireland.
Other more conventional venues staging free digital tasters to help people get online include libraries, schools, sheltered housing schemes, UK online centres, cafes and community groups, village halls and churches.
A number of local Age UKs will also be taking part:
Find your local Spring Online event on the Digital Unite website
Millions still missing out on the benefits of being online
Digital Unite managing director and founder Emma Solomon OBE said Spring Online has made a 'fantastic difference' over the years, helping hundreds of thousands of people take the first steps on their digital journey.
Ms Solomon said: 'Having access to digital technology and being equipped with the skills to use it, is a must-have in today's digital society.'
She said this helps people become more discriminating consumers and enable them to research and manage issues such as health, well-being and money.
The drive is also backed by the charity Go ON UK. Its CEO Graham Walker said the web has improved the lives of 86% of people aged 55 plus who are online, but millions have still never benefited from using it.
He said initiatives such as Spring Online play a 'vital' role in highlighting those benefits.
The latest Spring Online campaign is delivered by Digital Unite, one of the UK's leading providers of digital skills learning, in association with Carphone Warehouse.
Several Carphone Warehouse shops are participating to stage digital taster sessions as well as BMI Healthcare and Marks and Spencer.
Copyright Press Association 2013