We, the Edinburgh Silver Surfers are a group of Edinburgh residents who initially came together during computer training sessions for the over 50s hosted by Age Concern Edinburgh Information Technology (ACE IT). Having completed the basic training course – we were keen to develop our new talents further and so set out to explore ways and means of putting our computing skills into action.
A number of things had become clearly apparent during our introduction to surfing the Internet…
- The web proved to be a fascinating tapestry rich with material aimed at all tastes, temperaments and above all… All age groups!
- The Internet offered outstanding opportunities to develop social networks and provide voices for those within our communities who are often excluded from general social interaction by age, ill health or personal circumstances.
- By watching the ACE IT webmaster at work updating their website – it became clear that we could have a lot of fun and do some good by creating our own material for use on the web.
With the enthusiastic assistance and support of ACE IT we decided to form a web club and launch our own website aimed at providing news, features and articles of interest for those aged over 50 both within Edinburgh and beyond.
After a lot of hard work and preparation – The Grand Launch of the ‘Edinburgh Silver Surfers’ website took place on 1st October 2003 at Edinburgh’s Gyle Shopping Centre (Further Details). In the years that have followed we have been deeply involved in a wide range of groundbreaking initiatives, seminars and community projects – Building bridges across social and intergenerational divisions and breaking down barriers relating to age and the stereotypical image of older people.
We have had the honour and privilege of working in close partnership with a wide selection of charities, community organisations, media and educational resources in raising the profile of the ‘Silver Surfer’. In addition, we have also helped provide a voice for older people before government at both a local and national level. To date our work within our local communities has been recognised by a number of awards and award nominations including the City of Edinburgh Council’s Get Up and Go Awards – Challenging the Stereotypes of Older People and Raising the Profile of Older People in Edinburgh
One of the main reasons for the success of the website has been the strong social elements provided by trips out to gather material for use online, participation in local community projects and catching up with old and new friends at events hosted by ACE IT which are always open to (and popular with) clients and former clients.
As members of an ageing population, we hope that this website will provide proof positive that the internet is a fantastic resource which with a little training and experience can provide unlimited opportunities – not only for our own generation – but for society as a whole!