The World Wide Web may be 25 years old this month, but the UK’s digital divide persists, with nearly six million older people who have never been online.
This week (March 31-April 4) one of the year’s biggest digital inclusion campaigns – Spring Online in association with Carphone Warehouse – aims to change that, with free internet taster events across the UK to help people take their first steps online.
Digital Unite, which runs the campaign, says the good news is that tablets and smartphones are helping older people realise how the internet can enrich their lives – bringing opportunities to keep in touch with friends and family, access the services they need and save money.
A recent YouGov survey found that over a third of tablet owners (35%) in the UK are aged over 55 years and for the first time in the campaign’s 13 year history, more than half of all Spring Online events next week will offer help and tuition in using tablets.
Dick Stroud of Digital Unite, pictured here with 10 year old Tanush Nichani says: “Thankfully technology has come a long way since this IBM datamaster was especially designed for first-time users in the 1980s.
“Larger keys and bigger screens are much easier for older people to use, and touch screens make internet access a lot easier than using a keyboard. It’s great to see so many of our Spring Online event holders taking advantage of this new trend to help engage and inspire new internet users.”
Spring Online events are being held at libraries, cafes, community centres, shops, churches and housing estates across the country. Find your nearest event at www.digitalunite.com/spring-online or by calling 0800 77 1234.