Carphone Warehouse has run a week-long campaign to combat social exclusion by helping the elderly get online.
More than 50 stores took part in the Spring Online initiative between 31 March and 4 April. Staff members had been helping older people use tablets and smartphones, showing them how to keep in touch with friends and family, as well as saving money and actively pursuing hobbies and interests.
Last year the campaign gave more than 20,000 people the opportunity to get online with a smartphone or tablet. This year's Spring Online event had been taking place in libraries, cafes, community centres, shops and churches.
Carphone Warehouse CEO Andrew Harrison said: ‘Spring Online is a fantastic opportunity for Carphone Warehouse staff to engage with our customers at a local level, to strengthen our links with the community and share our knowledge and experience to help combat digital and social exclusion.
‘Getting to grips with technology can be daunting for many older people. They may regard it as too complicated or irrelevant to their lives. But touchscreens and apps can really help, as they are intuitive to use and easy to understand.’
The retail giant highlighted figures from a YouGov survey from the end of 2013 which showed that 35% of tablet owners are over 55, while 68% of over-65s would consider buying a device in the future. However, 5.8 million of the 6.7 million adults in the UK that have never used the internet are over 55 years of age. According to Carphone, the ‘explosion of interest’ in using tablets and smartphones will ‘help bridge the digital divide’.