Get your granny on line

GRAB your granny and get her online – that is the message of a new initiative being launched by the Help the Aged charity.For some grandparents cyberspace can seem like a scary place.

GRAB your granny and get her online – that is the message of a new initiative being launched by the Help the Aged charity.

For some grandparents cyberspace can seem like a scary place.

Baffled by their 'dot coms' and their 'j-pegs', many switch off when it comes to learning about the web, not knowing what their grandchildren get up to while they surf.

But national charity Help the Aged, is calling on all grandparents to get web-wise during Grandparents Online Week (22-26 September) and enjoy the advantages the internet can provide.

The campaign aims to demystify the internet for people of all ages and promote its educational benefits.

Working alongside Parents Online, a web based initiative by the Department for Education and Skills (DfES), Help the Aged have called on libraries, schools and community groups to help launch the first-ever Grandparents Online Week.

Most Read

The aim of the week is to bring all generations together to share their IT knowledge – or lack of it – showing grandparents what the web can offer, and allowing youngsters to learn from the experiences of their elders.

With grandparents increasingly take on child-caring roles, the internet could be a valuable resource in assisting them. In the past two generations, the number of children cared for by grandparents has jumped from 33 to 82 percent.

Fiona Booth, Head of Education at Help the Aged says: "The value of childcare by UK grandparents has been calculated at over £1 billion a year. Grandparents are taking on this responsibility with very little support and the Internet can provide so much in terms of resources for homework and advice.

"This event demonstrates the educational benefits of the Net and improves intergenerational ties in the community."

Computer courses across Suffolk have already proved very popular with the elderly.

The Learning and Resources centre, in Kings Avenue, Framlingham, provides a number of basic computing courses.

Centre manager Fran Parish said: "Many of the places on these are taken up by the over '60s. "Generally the ages range from people in their forties to people in their '60s, but we have got one lady here at the moment who is 85, and the eldest one we've had was 97!

"They mainly seem to use it for email and keeping in touch with their families but we do have some that come in and scan photos and get quite hi-tech."

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter