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Helping older people get online

1200x540-older-lady-laptop.pngWe're helping more older people make the most of the digital world through programmes that increase skills and confidence. 

Why digital skills matter

25% of people aged 65 and over in the UK don't use the internet. Older people who are without digital skills risk losing access to key services such as banking, shopping and health services, as well as communications platforms that keep people connected.

Our research found that, in England, the three most common reasons for people aged 65 and over not using the internet were:

    1. A lack of skills.
    2. A lack of trust in the internet.
    3. A lack of access to good enough equipment and/or broadband access.

"It brings the world to me"

Find out why being able to access the internet is important to Jean and her granddaughter, Lauren.

Our approach

The Digital Champions Programme combines four key services to address the common barriers to digital inclusion.

Digital Champions

A Digital Champion is someone who is trained and supported to inspire others to get online and can spend time showing them how.

They provide services ranging from 1:1 support in older people’s homes and IT drop-in sessions through to larger-scale community events - simple things that can make a big difference to people who can’t or don’t use the internet.

Digital Champions come from a range of different backgrounds and have varying levels of digital experience themselves, from IT professionals to people who are ‘newly converted’ to digital technology and want to share their enthusiasm. They may be staff and volunteers from local Age UKs, employees at local businesses or local community organisations, or other older people themselves.

They all receive structured training, support and resources in order to motivate and support others. What they have in common is that they want to volunteer to engage, support and encourage older people to develop their digital skills and confidence.

Making the most of the internet

From keeping in touch with friends and family to doing your shopping and banking, our step-by-step guides will help you feel confident and stay safe online.

Awareness raising

Awareness-raising activities help to spread the word about the benefits of being digital, and inspire and motivate people to engage with digital inclusion services.

These activities are specially designed to reach older people who are at risk of digital exclusion, and inform them about how digital can help them personally. This will help encourage people to find out more about the many ways in which digital can make day-to-day life easier and more enjoyable.

Digital Skills sessions

Digital Skills sessions support older people to develop their skills, safety and confidence. These sessions are learner-led, meaning they can take place remotely or face-to-face, individually or as part of a group, weekly or every so often. It depends on what's right for the learner.

There are also no set lesson plans. The learners can pick their own topics depending on what they'd like to learn about, and these topics can be repeated as many times as needed.

Provision of technology and connectivity

By providing accessible device technology and connectivity, older people who otherwise wouldn't have access are able to 'give it a go' to see whether it's right for them. Having a loan device at home supports people to practice in between Digital Skills sessions, and continue to improve their confidence. 

It will also help them to be more informed when it comes to buying their own technology once the loan period has ended.

Current programmes

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Digital Champion Programme 2022–2026

The Digital Champion Programme aims to tackle digital exclusion by recruiting and training Digital Champion volunteers to provide support for older people to improve their digital skills as well as providing loan technology to those older people without access. As our largest ever digital inclusion programme, we will be working with 40 Age UKs, to engage with 120,000 older people between 2022 to 2026.

Find out more

Past programmes


Vodafone Connected Age — Tablet Loan Scheme

The Tablet Loan Scheme identified digitally excluded older people and provided them with accessible technology on a loan basis, giving them the opportunity to use digital technology to improve their quality of life.

Find out more

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Vodafone Connected Age — Digital Champions Programme

Through this programme alongside the Tablet Loan Scheme, Age UK has supported 600 older people to develop their digital skills and confidence with local Age UKs.


Currys Tech Connected — Tablet Loan Scheme

Through Tech Connected we have successfully delivered a Tablet Loan Scheme to local Age UKs to help tackle Digital Exclusion by increasing the provision of technology available to older people who otherwise wouldn’t have access.

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Think Digital

The Think Digital programme recruited and trained Digital Champions to support older people to make the most of digital in whatever ways suit them.

Find out more

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One Digital

The One Digital programme helped over 18,000 older people understand the benefits of getting online, providing them with the opportunity to build their digital skills and have the confidence to love a digitally included and independent life.

Find out more

Want to know more?

To find out more about Age UK’s digital skills support services, email us at

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Last updated: Dec 19 2023

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