THE first of a series of monthly tech familiarisation sessions at the Central Library has been declared a success.
Getting to grips with gadgets and gizmos can sometimes be a challenge for the older generation – but the new sessions hope to remove the fear and uncertainty.
The project is a collaborative effort between Green Square and SOHA housing associations with support from Swindon Borough Council.
It came about out of the realisation that while computer literacy and access to the internet is increasingly taken for granted, there are still many people who, for various reasons, are not so well equipped to cope with the pace of technological change.
The drop in sessions, to be held on the first Tuesday of every month, allow anyone to go along and either ask for help with their own devices or try out equipment provided by the teams running the project.
Sue Chapman, Community Involvement Officer at Green Square, said: “For a lot of people it is about confidence – these sessions are designed to get people feeling more at ease about going online.
“We encourage people to bring along whatever they use at home – whether it’s a phone, a tablet, a laptop – or they can try something new here before they buy it.
“When we’ve done things like this previously we’ve targeted it at people looking for jobs but this is open to everyone – it’s about building the skills so when they need to use a computer or the internet they’ve got the confidence to do it.
“The library also runs more structured courses so if needed we can signpost people towards those too.”
Figures released earlier this year show that the internet is used daily or almost daily by 82 per cent of adults in Great Britain – compared with just 35 per cent ten years earlier.
Other research showed that people between the ages of 18 and 33 check their smartphones, on average, around 85 times a day.
However the same figures showed the pace of the digital age had left some sections of society trailing behind.
Kate Davies, of the Office for National Statistics, said: “Many older people are still to catch up with the digital revolution, with nearly half of single pensioners still having no internet access at all.”
The next technology drop in session will take place on Tuesday, September 1, from 10.30am until 1pm at the Central Library.