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Computer skills for elderly scheme launched

2nd May 2007

Yesterday saw the launch of Age Concern's UK-wide Digital Inclusion Network, which aims to equip older people with information technology (IT) skills.

It took place at London's Design Museum and the charity was joined by James Purnell MP from the department of work and pensions.

Age Concern has found that once older people begin using IT for leisure, they are keen to continue learning.

However, many communities do not have sufficient resources for them to build on their skills.

The scheme expects to help educate 850,000 people to use computers, using jargon-free terms.

Mr Purnell said: "In a world that is becoming increasingly reliant upon information technology, it is vital that we ensure older people aren't left out.

"It is equally important that we challenge stereotypes about older people as being afraid of new technology. The popularity of the internet with 'silver surfers' demonstrates that is simply not the case.

"Internet usage can increase independence and empower people. It is an essential tool for communicating with the world."