Research from Age Concern in 2005 revealed that 44% of people over 50 in the UK did not have Internet access. Further research from OFCOM found that older people, particularly those in lower income brackets, felt alienated from the digital economy.
In response to this digital divide Age Concern launched ‘Silver Surfer Week’ in May 2006 in partnership with Digital Unite. The objective was to demystify the Internet and show older people the benefits of being online.
Corporate partnerships played a key role in delivering Silver Surfer Week. Jonathan Andrews, who was Account Director at Age Concern, secured partnerships with BT, Intel and Microsoft and persuaded Age Concern to really get behind the initiative.
Silver Surfer Week provided 1,500 IT taster sessions across the UK and generated significant publicity. Also corporate partnerships secured £150,000 towards the initiative as well as a three-year partnership with BT providing 150 Silver Surfer Clubs at local Age Concerns.