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


  • Drop-in.
    For staffing reasons, Tuesday afternoon, Thursday morning and Friday 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. There will be another in January.
  • 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 – Friday afternoons are for job seekers, and Wednesday 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 (November 2014).

Open drop-in.

For staffing reasons, the volunteer-led Tuesday afternoon, Thursday morning and Friday 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.

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

Sister P’s Gathering (26 Nov)

A social dinner event serving traditional food followed by DJ and dance party.

Sister P (aka Paulina Browne) invites everybody to this unique event.

  • Food £2.50 / £1 bar
  • Dress code: Smart / traditional / casual

When and where.

  • Wednesday 26 November 6:30 to 11 pm.
  • Open School East, 43 De Beauvoir Rd, N1 5SQ

Black History Month ‘video’

The Black History Month celebration event (at Open School East, 28 October) was organised entirely by the older people taking part. More than 70 people turned up – a major achievement, considering the tiny budget and short time scale. Here’s a video, made the easiest way possible – holding up a tablet with the video app set to ‘record’, and letting it run. The video was not planned before, and not edited afterwards.

Click on the triangular ‘play’ button to start the video.

How digital technology helped.

Photographs and video.

We have hundreds of photographs and an hour of video, all made with a digital tablet. A digital video camera would gave given us better quality, but using a tablet (or a smartphone) has one important advantage – we can tell it to store photos and videos on the Internet, automatically, and easily download them to any other device.

The video here is on YouTube – but not public, so nobody will be able to find it. That is an option we set for most of our YouTube videos.


All the music was digital. The event started with music from Spotify (Internet streaming). When DJ Melissa took over, all her tracks were on a USB flash drive, played through a digital DJ console.

Posters and flyers.

Posters and flyers were designed on a computer, using a word-processor and digital images from an online supplier. They were uploaded to an online printing company, paid for online, printed digitally, and returned to us (by post) 24 hours later.

Publicity and organisation.

Most of the publicity and oganisation was human, word of mouth – the most effective method. We also used mass email to tell people about the event.

After the event.

You are reading this web post on a digital device of some kind.

You could do it too!

Tuesday afternoons at Open School East are for older people who would like to organise their own event. You won’t need digital skills to do it, just the ability to arrange something. We can find somebody else to take care of the digital aspects that you think might be too difficult for you. After the event, your understanding of digital technology will be greater than it is now – and that is the most important thing.

If you have an idea for a Tuesday afternoon event, put it in an email to

Email Noticeboard

Hackney Silver Surfers Email Noticeboard.

Our email newsleter is the best way to keep in touch with what is happening at Hackney Silver Surfers — plus a lot more information about learning opportunities and activities in the community.

Sign up here

Step 1

Step 2

Read on the web

Our archive (starting 30 October 2014):

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:   .

We are where the red dot is.

Street map showing location of 52 The Lawns.

Street map showing location of 52 The Lawns.