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Greater Manchester launches new video to support people to do digital in later life

A new video has been launched to support more older people to get online and benefit from doing digital in later life.

Research shows that many older people benefit from support and guidance from someone close to them to get online or use digital devices. In Greater Manchester 93,000 over 75s are digital excluded, with a third never having used the internet.

In spring 2022, Greater Manchester Combined Authority and The Good Things Foundation joined forces to produce a brand-new resource – ‘Doing Digital in Later Life: a practical guide’. The guide is designed for anyone from relatives and friends to carers and front-line workers to help them get started and support someone they know to do digital in later life.

The newly launched animated video version of the guide will be another tool our people and organisations across the region can use to support older people in their digital journey. Organisations like Citizens Advice Manchester already use the existing online guide to support older clients to build their confidence online.

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Mark[1] came to Citizens Advice for help to fill in an online form. He was very unfamiliar with the use of technology beyond his mobile phone and would heavily rely on his children and grandchildren to help with anything online.  Using the principles in the guide, the team at Citizens Advice helped Mark setup and access an email account and practice sending and receiving emails.  Mark told the team he had always fancied emailing his local radio station to give his thoughts on the football results, so he was showed how to use a search engine to find the correct email address – a couple of weeks later Mark came back and proudly declared he had been sending numerous emails, including to the radio station with his thoughts!

“The digital world is changing so many parts of our lives providing new opportunities, products and more choices.  But we help many people, including older people, who are daunted by the prospect of getting online and overtime they risk getting left behind by markets and paying more for everyday services like energy and broadband. 

Together, we can help people take their first steps into the digital world and having resources like the Doing Digital in Later Life practical guide is invaluable to our staff at Citizens Advice Manchester – who are using the guide to effectively support and motivate older people to get online, stay online and most importantly benefit in way’s best for them” Hayley Hughes, Assistant Chief Executive, Citizens Advice Manchester

This new video reinforces that there’s no one size fits all when it comes to going digital in later life. You don’t need to be a technical whizz to help an older person do things online – being patient and encouraging is what matters most, something we can all do

Helen Milner OBE, Group Chief Executive, Good Things Foundation said “Older people deserve to have access to digital as a basic right. Although 1.5 million more people went online during the Covid-19 pandemic, for some older, less affluent people, including many with impairments and health conditions - digital engagement actually declined. This animated video, created in partnership with Greater Manchester Combined Authority, is a fantastic way to support their engagement, helping older people become happier, healthier and better off.”

Older people must feel strongly motivated if they are to give digital a go and the guide and video is one of the ways Greater Manchester is working to support more residents over the age of 75s to participate digitally.

“The digital world offers so much potential for older people, but it can be daunting too. This short fun animation captures learning from older people’s groups across Greater Manchester as well as research. I invite you, take six minutes to watch the animation and learn how you can best support an older person in your life to build their confidence around digital – and it includes having tea and biscuits to hand!” Jan Kitching, Chair, Greater Manchester Older People’s Equality Panel.

The guide was initially launched following Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham re-election, where he announced ambitions for Greater Manchester to become one of the first city-regions in the world to equip all over-75s with the skills, connectivity and technology to get online.

Watch the video and find out more about Doing Digital in Later Life: a practical guide

Download the Doing Digital in Later Life: a practical guide communication toolkit

[1] Name changed

Article Published: 16/03/2023 10:54 AM