This blog from the Good Practice Mentors explores the power of a warm welcome when supporting older people to get online.

As Get Online Week draws to a close, we wanted to explain how the Good Practice Mentors help organisations that are supporting older people to use technology. Working with older people to get online is something we’ve been working on at Leeds Older People’s Forum for many years.

In today’s increasingly digital world, staying connected via technology is no longer a luxury but a necessity. For some older individuals, embracing technology can be a daunting experience – but we’ve learned that a warm welcome to a community digital skills group can make all the difference.

A friendly group of peers provides a safe and supportive space for older people to share their concerns, ask questions, and take those initial steps to improve their skills and knowledge. By working in a group, people learn from each other’s experiences and achievements, discover helpful tips, and receive hands-on guidance.

The digital divide is not just about technology; it’s also about maintaining social connections. Whether people want to reconnect with family, or are simply looking for their tribe, being offered the opportunity to make an informed decision about whether the online world is for them is important – and knowing that they can ask for help in a supportive setting is crucial.

Our free support and training

A friendly welcome to a community group can play a pivotal role in helping older individuals get online. It serves as a beacon of support, guidance, and encouragement, effectively breaking down the barriers that stand between them and the digital world.

We can support you to make your digital group more inclusive, welcoming and accessible. We can also help you to reach more older people, and understand how to engage with people and communities you haven’t worked with before.

Get in touch with us to tell us about your plans and ambitions, and we’ll work together to achieve them.

Jessica Duffy
Leeds Older People’s Forum