It’s official . Over 65s in Central Beds are among the most computer savvy around.
Findings the Age UK charity has taken from an Understanding Society study have found that more than half of over-65s in Beds use the internet.
The so-called silver surfers are among those in just four counties where so many people in the age bracket use the internet regularly.
The study of some 40,000 households also found that there is a stark north-south divide in internet use among the over-65s.
Those living in Beds were found to be far more likely to have internet access than people of the same age living in parts of Yorkshire and the north-east.
The findings come as no surprise to former Shefford Library manager Carol Forse, who oversaw many internet workshops and tuition sessions for more elderly users in her time there.
Many continue to run at Central Beds libraries.
She said: “During my time as a library manager at Shefford Library, all of the Bedfordshire libraries were working hard to encourage internet use in the county’s libraries.
“Library staff received specialised training to enable them to assist users in their day-to-day computer use, as well as promoting online self-training such as First Click.”
Sessions which were held for over-65s were also free and helped to give those who were previously unfamiliar with the internet new confidence, Carol said.
She added: “My staff and I frequently ran free one-to-one silver surfer sessions, and I also helped some of our customers with one-to-one sessions in family history. “
“These sessions were always very rewarding for those staff involved, as we also provided support after these sessions too. Customers would sometimes share fears they previously had of ‘breaking the computer’ or ‘not being clever enough.’ to use PCs or the internet.”
Councillor Ian Dalgarno, deputy executive member for sustainable communities and services at Central Beds Council said: “It is fantastic that so many older people in Central Beds are getting online and making use of the wealth of information available on the internet.
“All our libraries have IT facilities and online IT tutorials are available at http://virtual-library.culturalservices.net/cgi-bin/vlib.sh.”