Gransnet launches local over-50s websites

Older people's social network gets funding for local sites that will aim to bring the UK's senior population closer.

The website Gransnet, which serves as an online community for the UK's over-50s, has announced it will soon launch a series of local sites.

Gransnet Local will provide grandparents across the country with a place to share local information and events, discuss local issues and arrange meetings in their area.

The network of sites will be run by local editors, trained by Gransnet and all over-50s themselves.

Geraldine Bedell, editor of Gransnet, said: "Our members have already started meeting up of their own accord and local sites will make that much easier.

"Occasionally, in the past, our members have admitted to sometimes feeling lonely and they love the way the site connects them to others."

Martha Lane Fox, appointed the UK government's digital champion, added: "Many older people in the UK are still not online, leaving them potentially isolated and at a disadvantage.

"I welcome the launch of Gransnet Local, which will offer an incentive to people to get online to find out what's happening in their area and connect with others, and take the friendship and support that Gransnet already offers into a wider community."

Gransnet is essentially a social networking site for older people, offering a range of content on all kinds of topics - from gardening and cooking to learning about new technology. Well-known Gransnet bloggers include former TV star Judy Finnegan and actor Timothy Spall.

The latest data from UK communications regulator Ofcom suggests that 7.5 million UK adults have never used the internet, and around 20% of them are aged over 75.

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