Digital Unite and the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE) have given over 90 sheltered housing schemes an average of £3,500 each with which to buy computer equipment. As part of the government-funded Get Digital programme, the aim of the funding is to help residents aged over 65 get online.
Get Digital has given funding to 196 sheltered housing schemes and helped 8,000 older residents get online. 10 million adults in the UK have never used the internet, of which four million are also socially excluded. Almost 40 per cent of those four million are over the age of 65.
Julianna Woodvine, sheltered scheme manager, Circle Anglia, said, “Get Digital has raised residents’ self-esteem to the limit because it’s something they never thought they could do. Having Get Digital is one of the greatest things that has happened for them since I’ve been here – it’s given them a new lease of life.”
Susan Easton, project manager for Get Digital, NIACE, said, “By seeing that it is worth investing their own funds to start one up, we want to encourage other sheltered housing schemes to implement digital inclusion projects of this kind. We have developed free toolkits to support scheme managers and landlords who are interested in delivering and sustaining digital literacy skills for older residents.”
The toolkits include a range of guides, information sheets, activities and learning resources and are available now from www.getdigital.org.uk.