Nearly 50,000 Havering people have never used the internet

Nearly 50,000 people in Havering have never used the internet, according to new figures.

The figures released from the Mayor of London shows that Havering has one of the highest numbers of residents in London that are not online.

Leader of the Havering Residents Association, Cllr Clarence Barrett said: “There are increasing number of council and commercial services which are internet based and we must ensure that access to services does not exclude anyone who happens not to be on the internet.”

The figures also reveal 24.7 per cent of Havering residents have never used the internet, with only Brent with 24.8 per cent and Hackney with 26.1 per cent worse off.

The top boroughs for using the internet are Wandsworth with 92.9 per cent followed by Westminster with 92.1 per cent and Ealing with 91.3 per cent.

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The statistics which formed part of the Labour Force Survey, asked residents aged 16 and over when they last used the internet.

Julie Pocock, who is the resident involvement manager at Homes In Havering (HiH) says that she believes that the problem in Havering is because of the borough’s elderly population.

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Last year, Julie helped to introduced a number of taster programmes and courses called Silver Surfers to teach older residents how to use the computer and internet.

Last year the programme managed to train 90 Havering residents over the age of 65.

Julie said: “We know that that internet access is an issue for lots of our residents because of the age range.

“We know that a lot of the younger people are up with the internet because they use it at school. but there is a generation gap with residents above 65 who are struggling.”

June 81, and Bert Morley 85, from Romford took part in a computer training course last year.

The pair now use the internet to email their friends, and June also uses her computer to type.

June said: “It took a little while to sink in but eventually we got it and everything just clicked,

“I like using it to email my friends in other parts of the country because it is easier than writing letters.”

Julie said: “We feel over the moon that we are helping older people to get online and it has really changed their lives.”

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