Published 27th Mar 2012
If you know your way around a computer, could you spare some time to help older people get online this April? Digital Unite is asking local people and organisations to get involved in Spring Online with Silver Surfers Day, one of the biggest campaigns each year to give older people and less confident users a taste of computers and the internet. It’s been going for 11 years and during that time, has helped more than 150,000 people get more out of life online. This year’s campaign takes place from April 23-27.
Seven million older people in the UK have never used the internet. They’re missing out on a huge range of benefits – from saving money to keeping in touch with friends and family. In a survey for Digital Unite, 72% said being online reduced their feeling of isolation, so that’s a vital reason to help them get connected.
Last year, more than 2,500 Spring Online events were held in towns and cities all around the UK. People opened their doors at all sorts of places – from living rooms to UK online centres, classrooms, cafes, libraries and even pubs – to hold fun events from Wii parties to online gardening sessions.
There were some great success stories. One grandmother learnt how to email her grandson, a soldier in Afghanistan, and was amazed to get an instant reply. Iain Duncan Smith, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, hosted the best event awards and the campaign received an important Nominet Internet Award for Building a Networked Nation.
Everyone who registers their Spring Online event before April 2 will receive a free event pack which includes entry to a prize draw for £200 in High Street gift vouchers. Registration and more details are at www.springonline.org
Emma Solomon, Managing Director of Digital Unite says: “Access to computers and the internet can enhance people’s health and wellbeing – and open up whole new worlds. If you know your way round a computer why not volunteer to show someone else how to do it? Often, all people need is someone to get them started, show them the basics and make it fun. Holding a Spring Online session can really help.”
Martha Lane Fox, UK Digital Champion, said: “There are still a staggering 8.2 million people in the UK who are yet to experience how magic the web really is. Saving money, keeping in touch and reducing feelings of isolation are just a few examples of how the internet can change lives for the better. Fantastic initiatives like Spring Online play a vital role in highlighting these benefits and helping us achieve the ambition of creating a truly networked UK.”
Spring Online with Silver Surfers’ Day is delivered by Digital Unite in partnership with UK Online Centres and Race Online 2012 and is supported by major Government departments including the Department for Work and Pensions.
For more information about Spring Online and to register your event visit www.springonline.org or call 0800 228 9272.