What you can do online
The internet can be used for many things such as keeping in touch with people, entertainment, shopping and for fun.
Shopping online is one of the most popular uses of the Internet. You can buy almost anything online, without having to leave your own home. Goods are often cheaper when you buy online, although you may have to pay a delivery charge. Sometimes it is easier to have meals or food items delivered to your door so that you don’t have to go out, particularly in bad weather.
All of the major retailers and supermarkets have online shopping websites, as well as lots of small businesses. Auction websites, such as eBay sell new and second-hand items.
All reputable online retailers will have security measures to protect you from any risk of fraud.
www.getsafeonline.org offers more advice about buying or selling online.
The following websites may also be of interest to you:
- www.pricerunner.com – A price comparison website, to help you to find the best deals when buying online.
- www.thetrainline.com – A website where you can often find discounted train tickets.
- www.moneysavingexpert.com – a website where you can find advice on online shopping, including hints and tips on how to get the best deals.
‘How to pay for things online‘ is a short video from BBC WebWise which you might find helpful.
Watch TV Online
There are a number of websites available now where you can catch up on your favourite TV or radio programmes and some films for free.
- BBC iPlayer where you can watch programmes from the last week from BBC channels
- ITV Hub where you can watch a range of ITV programmes
- 4oD where you can catch up on Channel 4 programmes or choose from their library of shows/films
Watch Films Online
There are a number of online websites where you pay a monthly subscription to watch as many films/TV shows as you like. This could be a more affordable option than paying for cable or satelite TV packages.
However you will need to use your internet connection to watch the films so please check with your internet provider that you have the right broadband package to allow you to do this. Some of these websites include;
- Netflix – pay a monthly subscription to watch films and TV programmes
- Amazon Prime– pay a monthly subscription to watch films and TV programmes
- YouTube – watch free videos and clips
- Vimeo – watch free videos and clips
Personal music players, such as the iPod, are very popular. People who use them can buy music via the Internet as ‘music downloads’. You can download every sort of music from the Internet.
You don’t have to have a personal music player to listen to music that you get from the Internet. Many computers have loudspeakers built in and you can buy speakers to plug into those that don’t.
You can also listen to the radio on the Internet. The following websites may be of interest to you;
- BBC iPlayer – listen to all of the BBC radio channels live and also catch up on programmes that you’ve missed
- Spotify – where you can register for free to listen to music
- LastFM – a free online radio station where you can listen to music that you choose
- Tunein – a free website where you can listen to radio stations from around the world and your local station too.
- Mixcloud – Visit LLARN to find podcasts across a network that InformationNOW and Elders Council belong to.
- Radio Tyneside has volunteer radio broadcasters playing their favourite music and covering health and care issues
- Older Voices airs on the first Friday of every month on Nova Radio
- Radio Garden listen to music across the world.
- Radio Gateshead – Radio For The People Of Gateshead including the latest community news, information and music
- BBC Radio Newcastle – Radio for the North East (incl. Northumberland, Sunderland, County Durham). 95.4FM, 1458AM, DAB.
‘Listening online‘ is a short video from BBC WebWise which you might find helpful.
The Internet is ideal for keeping up to date with the news. You can check the latest news at any time from anywhere in the world, without having to wait for the daily newspaper or the scheduled bulletins on television and radio.
The following are some of the websites that you can get news from:
- BBC News – International, national and local news from the BBC
- Paperboy – Find the websites of local newspapers, or those of other countries
Each of the national newspapers also has their own website. Some require a subscription to read more. These are listed below:
- Daily and Sunday Express
- Daily Mail
- The Guardian
- The Independent
- The Observer
- The Sun
- The Telegraph
- The Times
Social networking and blogs
Social networking is a way of using your computer to talk to other people, make connections with new people, exchange pictures, invite people to an event; whatever you want to do.
Popular social networking websites include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.
Blog is short for ‘web log’. It is like an online diary. You can choose to keep it private, share it with friends, or publish it to the whole world. The tools for creating a blog are free and are an easy way to produce your own website.
Several people can contribute to a blog, which means that blogs are useful for groups of people to exchange views or keep in touch with each other. A blog can also contain photographs, video clips or music.
If you would like to talk to people online about something technical – this includes accessing experts in WordPress or Drupal, then contact Meetup
If you can’t get to the museum, the museum can now come to you with two new websites which allow you to browse museum collections and interesting places in the North East.
100objectsNE.co.uk is an online exhibition allowing you to explore the history of the North East, as told through a ‘virtual exhibition’ of 100 objects held by museums, galleries and archives across the North East.
North East Film Archive is where you can watch many films for free, looking back at how things used to be in Newcastle. The films date from the early 1900’s to the present day. They cover a range of subjects, including rural and urban life, industry and agriculture, family life, holidays and leisure, and wartime in the region.
Help to plan your trip to Newcastle City Centre
How Busy Is Toon ? gives you information to help understand how busy the buses, roads and city centre is. So you feel safe and prepared when planning to visit Newcastle city centre. Visit the website to see:
- Street images of: Northumberland Street, Grey Street, Barrack Road and Blackett Street, updated every 5 minutes
- Images of key roads into the city, updated every 15 minutes
- A real-time map showing the location of every bus operating across Newcastle, searchable by route number
- Car park spaces available
- Up-to-date traffic and travel information
- Information on Electric vehicle (EV) charging locations
- Walking and cycling routes to help you plan your journey
- Up-to-date coronavirus rules and safety guidance
Other Useful Information
- Making the most of the internet – Age UK guide
- Citizens Online run online events, provide a free digital support helpline and a trained team of digital champions who will call you back and offer friendly, patient support over the phone.
- Media Savvy CIC run a variety of digital skills courses for marginalised groups, including:- Basics, Social Media, eSafety, Employability, Money Matters.
- Mobile Phones article
- Seeing Ear runs an online library which provides books in a flexible format that can be downloaded by library members.
- Radioechoes.com is a website offering over 85,000 Old Time Radio programs available to be instantly listened to or downloaded for free.
- Infosound is an information service for vision-impaired (blind and partially-sighted) people in Great Britain. They cover any subject that deals with the practical aspects of living with sight loss. They continuously broadcast information around the clock and also provide an on-demand service where individual audio features can be selected and heard.
- Rest Less is a digital community that aims to inspire today’s generation of over 50s and 60s to get the most from life – focusing on work, financial wellbeing, learning, volunteering, lifestyle and more.
- Mirthy is an online platform for professional public speakers, often retirees themselves, to provide online talks to older adults in the comfort of their homes.
- Digital Voice works with participants who are excluded from digital media, helping individuals and communities to access the internet and web information.
- PaCT Lab at Northumbria University are interested in understanding how people use technology and have a special interest in how older users engage with e-health technologies, cyber security systems, and digital privacy controls.
Last updated: March 17, 2022