Help us research the impact of the pandemic on digital support for people aged 50-70

UPDATE 18th January 2021: This post discusses two surveys which have now closed (with 550 total responses) – but read on for more information on the research and for contact details if you would like to share your experiences.

The Covid-19 pandemic has presented a huge variety of challenges. The restrictions and guidance introduced to slow the spread of coronavirus/Covid-19 have dramatically shifted work, and access to goods, services, entertainment and social connection, to online alternatives.

Citizens Online is an independent charity that works to ensure that people aren’t excluded from the online world we now live in. We have been commissioned by the Centre for Ageing Better to find out more about the experiences of people aged 50-70 during the pandemic.

Before the pandemic, we knew that around a fifth of adults lacked Essential Digital Skills. We know from the large network of organisations we work with, and from members of the public themselves, that Covid-19 restrictions have changed the way digital skills support is delivered, and has given many people new motivations to get online.

We’d love to hear from you about how people aged 50-70 have used the internet during this time, and whether they’ve been able to access support in order to do so.

While many people in this age group were already confident with digital before the pandemic, many others weren’t as confident with new tasks they were now being asked or expected to do online, and still others were not internet users at all before the pandemic.

We want to hear from organisations about their experiences:

  • Has a lack of access to the internet or digital skills affected your service users during this time?
  • Have you provided help with digital devices, connectivity, or digital skills?
  • Have you started to do these things, or made new connections with other organisations that do?
  • What has been the effect of the pandemic on the support you are able to provide?

We have been running surveys (from November 26th – January 17th) but these are now closed for analysis. If you would still like to contribute to the research, please email We are creating Case Studies regarding both organisations working with, and individuals aged 50-70, and happy to be told about experiences of what has been challenging or how people and organisations have overcome digital barriers.

If you’re an organisation that has been working with people aged 50-70, please fill in our short survey for organisations. – SURVEY CLOSED ON 17th JANUARY.

If you’re aged 50-70, please fill in our survey for individuals (and if you’re not, please pass the survey on to people you know, or help someone who is in this group to fill in the survey! SURVEY CLOSED ON Sunday 17th January)

We know this survey won’t reach people who are offline, so we have also commissioned a phone survey to ensure the voices of people who aren’t online are represented in our research.