Technology has an ever increasing importance in our daily lives which we can see in the way our social lives, family connections, work patterns and government services have been digitally transformed. However, according to Advice NI, almost half of people 65 years of age and over have never used the internet!
Being digitally competent is now a necessary part of modern life and no one can afford to be left behind. The cost of not using the internet to your advantage has a real life economic impact. For example, households who do not use the internet pay an average of £440 more a year for their goods and services! This equates to 5.4% of the average household income for older people aged 65 plus and the most vulnerable people in society.
Dip Your Toe In!
This is why Spring Online Week is so important, it gives people the opportunity to dip their toe into the digital pool, gain confidence, and hopefully by the end of the session, take away some new found digital skills.
Over the past week, Supporting Communities has delivered six digital sessions throughout Northern Ireland, focusing on a range of topics such as Skype, uploading and printing photographs, apps, emails, e-books/e-magazines, Pay Pal and Facebook.
Stephanie Brolly, Digital Inclusion Officer for Supporting Communities, explained, “Spring Online Week is dedicated to helping those who want to gain new digital skills in a short informal session. Events throughout this past week have been varied and suited to each individual’s needs. It’s a fantastic opportunity for people to try something new and for us to help reduce digital exclusion in Northern Ireland”
Introducing people to a digital life can bring so many benefits including saving money, reducing isolation, gaining confidence and, of course, having fun. Participants from the Bessie Bell Court (Clanmill HA) session discovered immediate benefits from the short session:
“I had never used an iPad or tablet before so I was starting from the beginning. Now I can check all the embroidery kits, cross stitch and jewellery which I am finding so useful and interesting.”-June McCurdy.
“I have learned how to look up gluten free recipes which is brilliant! I am also looking forward to Skyping family and friends.” - June Irwin
Check out our other opportunities to learn basic digital skills.