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Over 50 and baffled by the digital world? Not any more

PUBLISHED: 08:20 27 December 2017

Are you over 50 and baffled by the digital world? Then help is at hand.

Are you over 50 and baffled by the digital world? Then help is at hand.

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2011

Pete Kelley on an initiative bringing together young and old to find out about the digital world.

Community… it’s probably one of those things we talk about most, these days. The lack of it, and what can be done. It used to come naturally, so we’re told. People just knew each other.

Now we seem to live in ‘bubbles’.

But “community” is a big word and, in my experience, to change something big, you often don’t want one big solution. You want lots of people doing small things.

Tackling the rift between generations, for example.

Or making the most of the new - digital - ways of linking up.

I thought of that, the other day, when I was told about a project which ‘nails’ both of those things.

Some young students from Jane Austen College, in Norwich, have stuck their hands up to help older folk who are baffled and bemused by all things digital. In January, linking up with Age UK Norwich and Café Pure, they will be offering classes.

All credit to them. But ‘classes’ is probably the wrong word.

What’s intended is a fun afternoon, with coffee and cake, in which the youngsters sit down and ask the older folk what they’d like to do with a computer… and then take it from there.

Charlotte Kippin, Age UK’s Community and Neighbourhood Manager, said: “If people already have a Kindle or laptop, for example, they can bring it along. But we’ll also have some iPads available on the day. We’ll start from whatever level people need. For some people, it might be just switching it on. Others might want help with internet shopping or using social media. They might want to email their grandchildren, or learn to send pictures.

“At Age UK, we are very interested in getting young people working with our older clients. Both groups enjoy it, and both benefit. Everyone gains in confidence.”

The first course starts on January 17, 3.30pm to 5pm at Café Pure, St George’s Street, Norwich. Other courses are planned in March, May and July.

Disabled parking is available, and it may be possible to organise transport, if you’re stuck.

To book, discuss transport and if you have any other questions, call Charlotte on 01603 496330. Or - if you’ve already mastered this - email her at

So if you’re over 50, and baffled by the internet… well, you’re not alone. Make a New Year resolution to do something about it, friends. Help is on hand.

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