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Free support for over 50s to get online

Civil Servant Robert Browne provides a Silver Surfers’ Day IT training session to Sandra Eames from Belfast
at Ormeau Road Library.

On Thursday 4 May, hundreds of business volunteers will be poised and ready to provide FREE IT taster sessions, helping people over the age of 50 to get to grips with the Internet, email, Skype and social media. 

Located in libraries across Northern Ireland, Silver Surfers’ Day is back once again by popular demand – both from older people and from the volunteers. These events are organised by Business in the Community in partnership with the Department of Finance, and supported by Libraries NI. 

Communities Manager for Business in the Community, Hilary Hanberry said: “In today’s digital world it can seem as though everything has moved online. The shift to online services, in particular, has changed the way in which we live, work and socialise, but there are still many people who aren’t benefiting from the digital revolution. 

“We all know someone who isn’t online. It might be your mum or dad, your gran, your next door neighbour or even a friend. If so, please encourage them to come along to a Silver Surfers’ Day training session. They will be hosted in local libraries across Northern Ireland and they are easy to book – all they (or you!) have to do is contact your local library and a FREE training session will be organised.

“All of our training sessions are taken by friendly volunteers who are passionate about sharing their skills. They are all very patient, and get a real sense of reward from helping others. The sessions are one-to-one and can cover a range of things, from learning how to stay connected to friends and family through Facebook or Skype; to learning how to order your grocery shopping online, or perhaps even setting up an email account. We’ve had great feedback from participants in previous years who found the sessions very worthwhile, and I’d encourage anyone who is keen to find out more about the internet to come along.”

Paul Wickens, CEO of Enterprise Shared Services in the Department of Finance adds: “I am delighted the campaign is being supported in this proactive way by Business in the Community. Silver Surfers’ Day as part of Spring Online Week forms part of our ‘Go ON NI’ programme which aims to encourage as many people as possible to go online, address any barriers, promote the benefits of accessing the Internet, and highlight the convenience of online public services.”

Helen Osborn, Acting Chief Executive, Libraries NI, explains: “This year, Libraries NI is pleased to announce that 25 libraries across Northern Ireland will be taking part in Silver Surfers’ Day by hosting free IT sessions on the day. We hope that record numbers of people will enjoy Silver Surfers’ Day in our libraries and avail of the computer facilities with free broadband and Wi-Fi available for library members, not only on Silver Surfers’ Day but any time of the year. Membership of our libraries is free; everyone is invited to call in and join their local library today.”

To book your free place, contact your local library or call the Libraries NI Customer Services Line on 0345 4504 580 (Monday to Friday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm). For more information visit

Silver Surfers’ Events
Participating libraries as follows: 

Armagh City
Bangor Carnegie
Belfast Central
Chichester (Belfast)
Derry Central
Falls Road
Lisburn City
Ormeau Road
Rathcoole (Belfast)
Shantallow (Derry~Londonderry)