The Mayor Cllr John Fox will visit the Senior Stop centre this week to launch a new programme of computer training for older residents and meet with pensioners who are learning how to use their laptops, tablets and smartphones.
From April 2018, a new season of classes begin at the city centre cafe, which is operated by the Royal Voluntary Service and has served Peterborough’s pensioners for more than 20 years. The free weekly training sessions, run by the city council at various community centres and libraries, are part of an ongoing initiative to combat digital exclusion, and are open to all city residents.
The training sessions will follow a five-week syllabus, and are delivered by the council’s team of digital inclusion officers. Topics covered include basic online activities like emailing, browsing and searching, before moving on to more advanced subjects like internet security, online banking and internet shopping.
Cllr Fox said: “Digital exclusion is an issue of growing concern, and older people are disproportionately disadvantaged by it. That’s why I’m delighted that the council is launching a new season of training sessions for older residents.
"Learning how to use the internet can have a very positive effect on people’s lives. It can help you keep in touch with people, access information you need, interact with the council or your GP, and even order groceries to your door. The council is trying to give digitally disconnected residents the knowledge and confidence they need to take advantage of those services.
"The digital inclusion officers delivering the training here at the Senior Stop cafe are friendly, knowledgeable, and very patient. The feedback we’ve received about them from former students has been hugely positive, and hundreds of older residents have benefited already. Our intention is to help hundreds more over the coming year.”
The council has been running free digital inclusion training at libraries and community centres around the city for the last three years. Many services, including council tax, business rates, blue badges, parking permits, as well as school and community transport, can be accessed online via the council website.
In addition to structured digital training programmes, the council also runs drop-in sessions at local libraries for ad hoc advice and guidance. For more information about accessing free digital training and advice please visit www.peterborough.gov.uk/digital