Colin Rout has been crowned O2’s official Guru for Life after a nationwide hunt to find the UK’s most tech-savvy pensioner.
The 68-year-old IT expert from Hastings, who has been running computer workshops at a his local WRVS community centre three times a week to teach people of all ages how to get the most out of the internet, will be awarded £5,000 after being nominated by one of his pupils.
Rout said: ‘As an IT teacher, I’ve discovered that older people are just as quick at picking up computer skills as their younger counterparts. What they need is the right support and guidance to enable them to get to grips with this wealth of technology and, once they have, many are hooked and use smart technology and computer applications to improve the quality of their everyday lives.’
As an official Guru for Life Rout will now work alongside existing O2 Gurus in stores and online providing technology tips in a bid to remove some of the barriers which are preventing more pensioners from getting to grips with technology.
O2 Guru Leader Phil Nolan said: ‘There are no age limits when it comes to technology. But while many older people are embracing this newly digital world, there are many who can feel alienated by the nature of the help that’s available to them. Gurus for Life is about technology for everyone – by providing the help people need to unlock its benefits.
‘Colin stood out as an ambassador for the nation’s pensioners. We’re delighted to build on his fantastic work with his own local community in Hastings and help him inspire more people across the country to use the power of technology to improve lives.’
O2 launched the Guru for Life campaign in June this year after research revealing that almost half of over-65’s feel confident using modern technology, despite preconceptions that they struggle. It was designed to inspire others pensioners to get the most from technology.