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Digital inclusion Doing Digital in Later Life Digital

CASE STUDY: Radio stations and online shopping! Doing digital in later life

Citizens Advice provides free, independent, confidential and impartial advice to everyone on their rights and responsibilities. Their aim is to provide the advice people need for the problems they face and improve the policies and practices that affect people’s lives. 

In Manchester, Citizens Advice (external) offers free, confidential, impartial and independent advice and information on a wide range of subjects, including support to get online, stay connected and benefit from the opportunity that digital can bring. 

The team use the Doing Digital in Later Life: a practical guide to support their clients on their digital journeys. The guide was produced by Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Good Things Foundation to support more people to get online and benefit from doing digital in later life. 

Research shows that the thought of getting online can be intimidating for people in later life & they may need support and guidance from someone close to them to do so. 93,000 over 75s are digitally excluded in Greater Manchester with a third never having used the internet. Research shows that the pandemic hasn’t led to a big rise in over 75s going online. 

The guide was designed for anyone from relatives and friends to carers and front-line workers to help them get started and support someone they know to do digital in later life. The guide makes clear there’s no one size fits all when it comes to going digital in later life and is used by staff at Citizens Advice Manchester to support people across the region. 

People like Mark*, who came to Citizens Advice as he needed some help filling in an online form. He was very unfamiliar with the use of technology, beyond his mobile phone, and would heavily rely on his children and grandchildren to help with anything online.   

To complete the form Mark needed an email address. Citizens Advice helped him set up and access an email account and practised sending and receiving emails.  Mark told the team he had always fancied emailing his local radio station to give his thoughts on the football results, so he was shown how to use a search engine to find the correct email address.   

A couple of weeks later Mark came along to a second session and proudly declared that he had been sending numerous emails, including to the radio station with his thoughts!  He said that he would like to know how to do some online shopping. Mark had heard about apps that he could put on his phone to help. Mark was so keen to learn more about the world of digital, Citizen’s Advice Manchester also introduced him to Manchester Adult Education who were able to support him on his digital journey.

Resources like the Doing Digital in Later Life: a practical guide are an important asset in tackling digital exclusion in the community. These resources help provide a starting point and top tips to effectively support and motivate older people to get online, stay online and most importantly benefit from digital in a way that’s best for them.

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Article Published: 13/03/2023 16:27 PM