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Age Concern offers free advice

Charity brings the internet to quintagenarians

As part of its on-going partnership with high street bank Barclays, charity Age Concern today launched a set of free IT training guides for those in the 55-plus age bracket.

The latest initiative specifically targets people within the ethnic community who, due to a language barrier, often find training more difficult.

"We have launched the guides in English but today we are focusing on those who speak Urdu and Punjabi," said a spokesman at Age Concern. "Our ongoing research with Barclays has shown us that these are the areas where help is needed."

The A4 guide Grasp the NETtle, which will also be released in an English CD version, offers advice and training sessions on computer use for people over 55 and is available free by calling 0800 009 966.

"This new set of learning materials is the gateway to a wealth of information for older people in the Punjabi and Urdu communities," said David Weymouth, chief information officer at Barclays. "It is an excellent example of business and charity working together to break down barriers to IT."

The group's commitment to providing training schemes and access to IT for the senior section of society has been displayed through many of its projects, including last July's silver surfer's day.

Age Concern is now in the second year of its three-year partnership with Barclays. It is currently working alongside the Leeds Islamic centre and is looking to develop the booklet in several languages.

"It's all about demand and funding," said Age Concern's spokeswoman. "If people ask for our help we will do our best to achieve it."

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