It won’t be news to our network members that older people are often the worst hit by digital exclusion, but here are some stats to put the issue into context:
- Around 5 million over 55s are currently offline;
- In February, just before lockdown, ONS data recorded that 20% of over 65s didn't have an internet connection at home;
- At the same time, 35% of 60 - 70 years olds couldn't switch on a computer and connect to the internet, and only 28% of over 75s could make a video call or shop online independently.
Older people are also more likely to face social isolation in “normal times” and we know that the Covid-19 pandemic has negatively impacted everyone’s ability to connect with friends, loved ones and services. This has been particularly true for the older generations that were advised to stay at home and shield for a longer period of time. For those without the means or skills to access the internet, this isolation was often felt much more intensely.
With this in mind, Good Things are embarking on an exciting new project in partnership with Scheinberg Relief Fund, working with organisations in our network to reduce social isolation among older people through digital. We are working with the network to understand the challenges that older people face getting online and together we want to co design new approaches and resources for organisations that work with older people on the ground.
Central to this project is the creation of a new community of practice for these organisations, which comprises of:
- Opportunities to share good practice and to network
- Access to free training and resources relevant to supporting older people.
We know that many brilliant organisations in the Online Centres Network have been supporting older people to get online for years, and have adapted to new ways of working with this group throughout the pandemic. There are also many other organisations that have had to start delivering digital inclusion support over the past 18 months, and who would like to connect with other organisations that are in the same boat.
If your organisation fits into either of these groups, we would like to invite you to an information session to find out more about the new community of practice:
If you aren’t able to attend but would like to find out more, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org