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Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

Press Release

Lawrie McMenemy launches First Click with Radio Solent

Lawrie McMenemy and Judy Goodlet

Footballing legend Lawrie McMenemy has teamed up with BBC Radio Solent to launch the First Click campaign, encouraging people to get online for the first time.

Known for leading by example, Lawrie is also taking his own first steps getting online with the help of Judy Goodlet, BBC presenter and former IT trainer.

First Click is a major new media literacy campaign to encourage the estimated 9.2 million people in the UK who have never used the internet to take the first steps to get online.

It is launched by the BBC in partnership with Race Online 2012, UK online centres, and the Post Office. First Click coincides with Get Online Week, a national initiative which runs from October 18 to 24.

Lawrie launched Radio Solent's First Click campaign on Monday's (Oct 18) Julian Clegg Breakfast Show. Speaking before the show Lawrie said: "Until the last couple of weeks I never thought a computer was something that older folk need worry about – I can't use one – a fax machine is my limit – and I didn't want to get square eyes.

"But in the last couple of weeks I've been to some great Age Concern events, as Patron of Age Concern Hampshire, and chatting to people at them have come to realise how essential it is.

"Many older people are lonely and the internet brings friendship, many are disabled and can order their groceries online and for many retired people it can open up a whole new world of interests and hobbies.

"I'm not sure how I'll cope with my First Click – but I'll give it a go!"

After also joining Solent mid-morning presenter Alex Dyke for the Mid-Morning Show, Lawrie was then, with the help of Judy Goodlet, taken through some of the steps needed to get online, taking his first tentative steps at surfing the internet.

Judy Goodlet added: "BBC First Click is a fantastic initiative to encourage people with varying degrees of computer and internet experience, and if they haven't got their own computer, they can visit their local library, use the equipment and unlock a whole new world of information for free. I have seen for myself what a fantastic and welcoming support network is on offer from a wide range of training providers so I really hope people follow Lawrie's example and start taking their first steps."

During the week, Radio Solent and South Today will be supporting the campaign with programmes and activity to explain to audiences the benefits of using the internet.

Throughout the country, First Click Beginners' Computer Courses are being run to help people understand the internet and enjoy its benefits. UK online centres will also be running an introductory event.

Portsmouth Crown Post Office, in Slindon Road, Portsmouth, has a special event on Friday 22 October, from 9.30am-3pm, encouraging you to have a go as well.

Those who would like to sign up for a course can ring a Freephone advice line 08000 150 950, set up by the BBC in partnership with Next Step.

Peggy Archer in BBC Radio 4's long-running radio drama The Archers will learn to surf the web and BBC Radio 2's The Jeremy Vine Show will also be getting in on the act.

Popular current affairs programme Rip Off Britain returns to BBC One in November, showing viewers how to use the web to save money. The series will follow presenter Gloria Hunniford as she learns how to get online herself for the first time.

The BBC is collaborating with partners such as Race Online 2012, UK online centres, the Post Office and Age UK. There's a dedicated website (bbc.co.uk/connect) to give beginners a good introduction to the internet and a new online tool, MyDisplay, to help people with accessibility needs have a better experience online. MyDisplay allows users to customise the colour, font and size of text by setting preferences for use across the BBC website, depending on their needs.

Who's not online?

Recent data shows that 9.2 million adults in the UK have never used the internet, down from 10.2 million in 2009. The percentage of adults using the internet everyday has risen to 60% from 55% last year.

Men are more likely than women to be online (21% of women have never used the internet, versus 16% of men).

Sixty per cent of over 65s have never been online, although this is down from 64% in 2009.

Internet usage also varies around England. The lowest levels of use are in the North East (29% have never been online) and Yorkshire and Humber (21% never been online). In contrast, in London only 13% have never been online.

There were seven million households without internet access in 2010. When adults where asked why their household did not have an internet connection, the most common response was that they didn't need it, at 39%, followed by 21% who said a lack of skills prevented them from having the internet. Eighteen per cent said it was too expensive.

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