YEP Says, June 11: Can the web end loneliness among city’s elderly?

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THE internet is a wonderful resource. It doesn’t just link us to information, it connects us to other people.

The rise of Facebook and Twitter have opened up new possibilities when it comes to keeping in touch with old friends, as well as making new ones.

And of all the uses the internet can be put to, a role in banishing social isolation among the elderly would rank as one of its most important yet.

It’s why older people across Leeds are regularly given help to get to grips with the worldwide web in so-called ‘silver surfer’ sessions.

And now pensioners in the city will be among the first in the country to test out a groundbreaking social network.

The Yecco app aims to connect older people who have something in common, helping to combat the issue of loneliness that in so many cases can prove a hidden killer.

One of the YEP’s recent Voice of Leeds summit highlighted the need to bridge the digital divide that exists between old and young – and this will help.

But it shouldn’t be seen as a solution in itself. While it’s sure to be a boon to isolated pensioners to be able to hold digital conversations with new-found pals, its key role should be used as a catalyst for face to face contact and getting them out of the house.

Wedding dress stirs memories

THERE are certain objects that can come to carry huge emotional resonance – a wedding dress being a prime example.

The one donated by a mystery man to St Gemma’s Hospice shop in Garforth certainly held a host of cherished memories.

He pinned a heartfelt note to it about the 56 happy years he spent with the bride who wore it – and said he hoped its new owner would be just as fortunate.

His message has touched hearts around the world and led to a rash of online bids for the vintage dress.

In our increasingly materialistic world, it’s a timely reminder of what really matters.