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Barclays and Age UK Darlington join forces to stage internet workshops for pensioners
SILVER surfers have been given one-to-one computer coaching sessions to help make them more internet savvy.
The sessions were held throughout today (Friday, September 27) at Barclays’ Darlington branch in a joint initiative between the bank and Age UK Darlington.
Barclays staff and Age UK volunteers worked with participants aged 50-plus to help them learn more about the internet and how to use it for tasks such as online shopping and banking.
Jean Raby, Age UK volunteer, said housebound elderly people who were at risk of becoming isolated could particularly benefit from the opportunities presented by the internet.
She added: “Fear is the main barrier stopping elderly people from using computers more.
“We are trying to show them how to shop and bank safely online, but it’s also about showing them how keep in contact with family and find things such as music they like to listen to, or old photographs that they might be interested in.”
Lisa Ramsay, Barclays branch manager, said the bank was not seeking to push an agenda such as internet banking, but simply wanted to support the local community.
Karen Swainston, head of corporate relations, added: “Barclays has a number of ‘digital eagles’ – staff who are specially trained in online use – and we thought it would be great for older people to benefit from their skills.”
Darlington MP Jenny Chapman visited during the sessions and told the Echo: “The internet has many benefits and everybody should be able to access them.
“It is great that Age UK and Barclays are working together to give these opportunities to people who may never have used an ipad before.”
The sessions offered a taster ahead of Age UK Darlington’s planned five-week course to help more elderly people get online.
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