Page added on February 15, 2013
Most of us take technology for granted these days, whether we use computers, smartphones, tablets or even our televisions to get online.
But what about the seven million people in the UK who have never used the internet? 6.5 million are over the age of 55 years, and they are missing out on the many advantages it can offer – from managing finances online to using Skype to keep in touch with family and friends.
Taking that first step can be hard, though, which is why Digital Unite – one of the UK’s main providers of digital skills learning – is calling on communities around the UK to take part in its Spring Online campaign from April 22-26. It wants local people and organisations to hold taster sessions at libraries, schools, housing schemes, community groups – even pubs and cafes – to help older people and less confident users get to grips with technology.
Spring Online is one of the biggest digital inclusion campaigns in the UK and is now in its 12th year. This year’s campaign will be delivered in association with Carphone Warehouse and aims to help thousands more people get online.
It’s free to take part and you’ll be supported all the way with ideas, advice and marketing materials. There will also be the chance for event holders to win cash prizes. Take a look at www.digitalunite.com/spring-online for more information.
Emma Solomon OBE, Managing Director of Digital Unite, says: “Over the last 12 years, Spring Online has opened up a whole new world to hundreds of thousands of people and shown them how digital technology can enrich their lives. If you know how to use a computer or smart phone, why not hold a taster session this year? It’s fun, free and easy to do – and incredibly rewarding.”
Carphone Warehouse’s CEO, Andrew Harrison, said: “We are delighted to support Digital Unite’s Spring Online campaign which complements our vision to help make people’s lives better through technology. Digital exclusion is something we all should be addressing and with our presence on every high street coupled with friendly, knowledgeable store colleagues, we’re ideally placed to facilitate this leading initiative.”
Last year an amazing 2,000 Spring Online events all around the UK helped 30,000 people to get to get online, many for the first time. There were some great success stories, from the young girl with dyslexia who gained the confidence to get online and apply for jobs to the man recovering from a stroke who learnt to access online banking and shopping.
Esther Rantzen CBE awarded the prizes to the 2012 best event holders and said: “Helping older people to learn about computers and the internet is a great way of tackling loneliness. It can help them strengthen their links with their families, pursue hobbies and interests and find new ones, look up information to aid their health and wellbeing and become a more integrated part of modern society.”