Digital services provider EE is working in partnership with Age UK to encourage older Britons to learn about the benefits of being online. Why should older citizens need extra assistance? One reason is that those under the age of thirty have grown up with the Internet, mobile phones and other features of contemporary telecommunications. Many others have learned to become telecom proficient in the course of study or employment. However, it seems older people have fewer opportunities to become familiar with the latest telecom devices and technology terms.
The over 55 age group are also often not very enthusiastic about learning how to use new devices. Ofcom’s recent report on British telecom shows that this group is significantly less likely to use broadband services than younger people. They probably comprise a significant proportion of the 20% of Britons who are missing basic online skills.
EE’s Techy Tea Party Concept
Over the last few years EE has organised over a hundred Techy Tea Party Days in twenty six different localities. The idea is to attract people lacking broadband knowledge to come into an EE shop for an informal introduction to digital services over a cup of tea and biscuits. EE claims that they have helped over a thousand people boost their technical understanding and that 90% of event participants appreciate the help they receive.
From EE’s perspective these events provide them with an opportunity to make a contribution to their local communities. At the same time they obviously stand to benefit from recruiting new customers. In addition to the parties, EE also work via their Website to provide the public with tips and tools to make the most out of online opportunities. Their efforts have been supported by no less a personage than Prime Minister David Cameron. He praised EE’s Techy Tea Parties for “….demystifying technology and giving people the skills to get online.”
National Techy Tea Party Day
Clearly impressed with the results they achieved through local events, EE decided this year to hold a National Techy Tea Party Day on the 9th September 2014. Two thousand of EE’s trained shop staff volunteered to take part in persuading event attendees that they have a great deal to gain from going online.
To attract as many people as possible EE organised tea parties in their shops around the country. Five hundred of their shops ceased their normal business to host Techy Tea Parties. EE also recruited comedienne June Whitfield and other famous celebrities to achieve maximum publicity.