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Posted on 14 January 2016

Older generation get the digital buzz with Bee Online project

Calico’s older customers are earning their digital stripes thanks to a new initiative aimed at helping them learn more about the online world.

Calico’s ‘Bee Online’ project has already seen 15 volunteers from their Older People’s Service recruited as Digital Bees, who have completed training to help them support other older customers to get online.

As part of the initiative, Calico is planning to provide free broadband for customers in the communal lounge areas of their sheltered schemes.

Now registered as a UK Online Centre, Calico is also planning a series of themed events at sheltered schemes to show how the internet can help make customers’ lives easier, from help to save money, to switching their utility suppliers and managing their health and wellbeing.

The first round of events will link in with the national Be Online campaign, during the last two weeks of February, with the theme of ‘Keeping in Touch with Friends and Family’.

Attendees can learn how to set up an email address, use social media, and keep in touch using video call apps, such as Skype.

Tracey McMullan, Calico’s Customer Engagement and Social Value Manager, said:

“Our research suggests that only 34% of our Older People’s Service customers are currently online. We know that some older people find the thought of learning very scary, and others don’t yet see the benefits of being online.

“Our volunteer Digital Bees are already internet enthusiasts so will play a key role in helping us reach and support other older people to learn.

“We know it’s important to prevent social isolation among residents as much as possible, and projects such as Bee Online will hopefully go a long way to ensuring customers feel more connected to their friends, family, and the world around them.”

For more information about the Bee Online initiative, call Calico on 01282 686300.

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