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Silver Surfers Log On In Leamington

“Silver Surfers” are learning to use the internet in a project in Leamington, Kenilworth and Warwick aimed at encouraging older people to get to grips with computers.

The scheme has been developed by Activ-Age, Age Concern Warwickshire and the central division of Warwickshire County Council's Libraries & Heritage department.

Called 'Older People's Technology' (OPT), it aims to offer one-to-one support for older people who know little or nothing about computers but want to learn.

A recent survey suggested that the over-60s, as an age group, spend more time on the Internet than children.

However, many older people are hesitant about starting out and need extra help, in the early stages, to build their confidence on computers.

OPT offers bookable one-to-one tuition sessions at Leamington, Kenilworth and Warwick Libraries.

The initial cost will be £5 for four one-hour sessions, and £1.50 an hour thereafter.

Using the libraries' public access computers and working at their own pace, central Warwickshire's would-be silver surfers will be introduced to the world of internet and email.

Their helpers will be techno-volunteers of advancing years, specially trained by Warwickshire College and Activ-Age, part of Age Concern Warwickshire.

These trainers all have specialist interests, such as history or gardening. The aim will be to match each silver student to a volunteer trainer with similar interests, to help the learning process along.

Activ-Age manager Jayne Longfield said:

"We believe older people will benefit from the individual, one-to-one support as they gain. The OPT scheme offers a low-cost introduction to computers - you don't have to buy one to have a go.

“It's also very flexible - you can arrange times to suit and go at your own pace."

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