20 September 2012
The silver-surfer army
A think tank has suggested that we should employ a group of pensioners with a good knowledge of the internet to help decrease isolation among their age group, by helping the rest of the elderly population to get online.
1,000 elderly people could be paid up to £30,000 a year to teach older people how to use the internet. The new initiative could save the taxpayer £75 million by enabling the Government to shift its operations online. The biggest benefit would be helping to prevent isolation among the older generation by keeping them connected to their internet-savvy children and grandchildren.
Sarah Fink, author of the report, said, “It is important that this network is made up of people who are able to relate to the particular needs of someone who has never used the internet before. That’s why the Government should encourage ‘silver surfers’ to become ‘silver sidekicks’.”
Annika Small, chief executive of internet charity Nominet Trust said, “It’s more important than ever that all groups of people are supported to use the internet and understand its benefits. From alleviating social isolation, bringing together communities, paying bills and now accessing public services, online can improve lives.”