Free computer training, free access to the Internet, and free support
for senior citizens in Hackney

Start here

We are Hackney Silver Surfers and 52 The Lawns is our main centre. We provide free computer training and free Internet access to everybody over 50 in Hackney. Everything we do is free, informal and very friendly. All you have to do is come along and ring the door bell.

Last year (2013), 302 older learners made 3092 visits to our computer centre. That is very good progress, but we are aiming even higher this year – please help us!

  • Our address is 52 The Lawns, Matthias Road, London, N16 8QD.
  • Our phone number is 020 7254 2183.
  • There is a map in our Contact us section.

What’s on / our program

Overview.

  • Drop-in.
    For staffing reasons, Tuesday afternoon and Thursday morning drop-in sessions have been temporarily suspended.
    Please read the section on this page: Drop-in days & times.
  • Courses run by the Hackney Learning Trust.
    The current course is full. Enrolment for the next course is 5 November.
  • Internet for Senior Citizens.
    A series of beginner classes and workshops, mainly for people who cannot do the Hackney Learning Trust course. Open to anybody aged 50 or over, but currently full.
  • Agewell Social Network.
    The Agewell Social Network also meets at The Lawns. It is a separately-funded project for Hackney residents aged 50 to 64. Please visit the About Agewell Social Network page for more information.


Computer centre program.

Monday – usually closed all day.


Tuesday morning – always closed for maintenance.

Tuesday afternoon – no drop in at the moment.


Wednesday morning (10 am to 1 pm).

Wednesday afternoon (2 to 5 pm).


Thursday morning – no drop in at the moment.

Thursday afternoon (1 to 4 pm).


Friday morning – no drop in at the moment.

Friday afternoon (2 to 5 pm).



Agewell Social Network.

Agewell in Hackney organises special activities for Hackney residents in the pre-retirement age range 50 to 64.

Briefly – Wednesday afternoons are for job seekers, and Friday afternoons are for all Hackney residents aged 50 to 64 (including their carers, partners and best friends).

For more information about Agewell Social Network, please visit the ASN program page.

Drop in

Drop-in days & times (October 2014).

Open drop-in.

For staffing reasons, the volunteer-led Tuesday afternoon and Thursday morning drop-in sessions have been temporarily suspended. Unfortunately that means there is – at the moment – no open drop in. Age UK East London is hoping to find a solution as soon as possible.

Agewell Social Network and Agewell Job Seekers.

The Agewell sessions are not affected by this problem at all. That’s because Agewell is fully funded, and not wholly dependent on volunteers. Agewell is a special program for Hackney residents in the pre-retirement age range 50 to 64.

Introduction to computers

A free course for Hackney residents aged 50 or over.

Course details.

This is a Hackney Learning Trust course, designed for older Hackney residents.

  • Six weeks – every Wednesday morning (10 am to 1 pm) and Thursday afternoon (1 to 4 pm).
  • Enrolment session: Wednesday 5 November (10 am).
  • Course ends: Thursday 18 December.
  • Commitment: you should be able to attend all the classes.
  • Venue: Age UK East London computer centre,
    52 The Lawns, Matthias Rd, N16 8QD (close to 236 bus stops).
  • Who can enrol? Hackney residents, aged 50 or over.

How to get on the course list.

  • Please check that you will be available on Wednesday mornings and Thursday afternoons from 5 November to 18 December.
  • Then tell us that you are interested as soon as possible – by phone to 020 7254 2183 (please ask to speak to Chitra, and specifically mention that you would like to join the Hackney Learning Trust Computer Course).

Hackney Mobile Seniors

Have you got a mobile gadget you don’t quite understand?

The Hackney Mobile Seniors team helps people who have problems with, or questions about, mobile computing – which includes laptops, smartphones, iPads, tablets, Kindles, and anything else which is portable and works with wifi, 3G or 4G.

Bring your problem (literally) to Hackney Mobile Seniors, and the team will do their best to solve it.

When and where.

  • Tuesday afternoons, 2:45 to 5 pm.
    Open School East, Old Rose Lipman Library, 43 De Beauvoir Rd, N1 5SQ

News and info

Form filling service for ESA and DLA.

A message from Hackney Law Centre

Hackney Law Centre are delighted to announce that, with the help of students and pro bono staff from BPP Law School, we have now launched a new service to help people fill out their Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and Employment Support Allowance (ESA) forms.

ESA and DLA application forms can prove very difficult to fill out correctly. We want to make sure that any resident in Hackney who is entitled to receive ESA or DLA doesn’t miss out by not completing the form properly.

To access the service, people who live or work in Hackney must call 020 7633 4531 and leave their name and contact telephone number.

A law student from BPP will then call back during office hours to gather more detailed information about their query. If suitable, an appointment may be made for the person seeking help with a HCLC supervised BPP law student volunteering on a Tuesday afternoon. All appointments will be at Dalston CLR James Library.

Benefits update – a free guide.

Rethink ( rethink.org ) have produced a downloadable 20-page guide to the new benefits system. Here is what they say about it …

“Everything from the bedroom tax to the end of Disability Living Allowance (DLA), crisis loans to Universal Credit seems to be happening in April. As a result, many people on benefits are fearful. Journalists aren’t reporting all the facts. And the public is completely confused about whether these changes are good or bad.

If you need to understand what is happening, either to your benefits or for someone you care about, download our free new benefits pack.

It covers all the changes announced in full so far. And it is in Plain English so that you don’t have to be a lawyer or a benefits expert to get the information you need.”

There are four main sections …

  1. Changes to Housing Benefit – ‘the bedroom tax’.
  2. Council Tax Benefit changes.
  3. Changes to the Social Fund.
  4. Changes to Disability Living Allowance.

You can download it yourself from the Rethink page named ‘Help to get through benefits changes’ – or, if you need help, you can download it at our computer centre.

We will have some example copies for you to read through at the ‘Understanding Benefits online event’ on Wednesday 24 April.

Computer help for disabled people.

AbilityNet.

  • “AbilityNet exists to change lives of disabled people, to help them achieve everything they can at work, at home or in education. We have a number of high quality specialist services for businesses and others who can pay for our expertise. We also provide a range of free services for people who cannot afford to pay.”
  • URL: abilitynet.org.uk

IT Can Help.

  • “IT Can Help is a network of volunteers who are able to offer free local computer assistance to disabled people. We can diagnose and fix most computer related problems; Install and set up hardware, software, internet, email and accessibility settings.”
  • URL: itcanhelp.org.uk

Aidis Trust.

  • “The Aidis Trust is a charity that provides free, impartial technology advice and support to people with disabilities across the UK. It is our aim to empower people with disabilities, through knowledge of assistive technology, to help them communicate and increase their independence by using technology to help reduce isolation. Our services are offered free of charge to those who receive no statutory support.”
  • URL: aidis.org

About us

Who we are.

Hackney Silver Surfers is an AgeUK East London project providing free computer training and free Internet access to everybody over 50 in Hackney.

We are a centre of expertise in understanding the impact on older people of rapidly developing new technology, and how older people can learn to use it to their advantage.

Our staff and volunteers are familiar with the whole range of new technology, and are skilled at communicating it to older people to enable them to pick the bits which interest them. That is all we do — continuously since 2003.

What we do.

We offer a range of activities to match the needs of all our service users, whatever their age or circumstances (including the most sceptical). Much of the time we are open for ‘drop-in’, which means you can come along and use our computers for any purpose you have in mind, and also for one-to-one learning with our helpful volunteers. That is how most of our beginners become proficient Internet users.

We have a very strong user base — regular contact with hundreds of older people in Hackney. Since we opened in 2003, more  than 1500 people have used our services. However, our aim is to reach everybody in Hackney who is 50 or over.

Also at The Lawns computer centre.

Our centre at The Lawns is also used by other AgeUK East London projects which are not part of Hackney Silver Surfers, including the Agewell Social Network for Hackney residents aged 50 to 64.

Our privacy policy.

We do not collect personal information, or information about your browsing history on this website.

Contact us

How to contact Hackney Silver Surfers at The Lawns.

  • Address: 52 The Lawns, Matthias Road, London, N16 8QD.
  • Location: The Lawns is a shopping precinct halfway along Matthias Road — on your left if you approach from Newington Green, on your right if coming from Dalston. Look for the shop-front with Age Concern Hackney in the window. The 236 bus (Hackney Wick to Finsbury Park) stops almost outside The Lawns, both directions.
  • Maps: Google map / Street map / Google Streetview (it’s the shopfront next to ‘Bets R Us’).
  • Phone: 020 7254 2183   .
  • Email: hss@lawns.org.uk   .

We are where the red dot is.

Street map showing location of 52 The Lawns.

Street map showing location of 52 The Lawns.