August 8, 2013
The humble tradition of tea and biscuits is getting a 21st century revamp as Age UK urges people to break with tradition and sit down to tea, biscuits and… technology in September. The charity is urging everyone who uses the internet and other technology to sit down with an older friend, family member or neighbour and help them get online. The aim is to encourage some of the 5.2 million people aged 65+ who have NEVER used the internet to give it a try for the first time.
The call comes in the lead up to ‘ITea and Biscuits Week’ (16-22 September 2013), the Charity’s annual campaign to offer people in later life the chance to learn about all kinds of technology and find out about important benefits they could be missing out on.
The Week, now in its sixth year, also sees hundreds of local ‘taster sessions’ taking place across the country that will provide a basic knowledge of technology including computers, the internet and smartphones. The sessions will also show how technology can be used for all sorts of activities, from keeping in touch with loved ones, paying bills and finding bargains, through to watching and listening to TV and radio programmes – important things that can improve quality of life which many of us take for granted. As well as encouraging older people to attend events during the week, Age UK is calling on all those who already have some knowledge of technology to pass it on to an older person they know.
With only 15% of people 65+ saying they have used the internet on handheld devices (such as smartphones, tablets, laptops)[i] and 50% of the same age group stating they have never used the Internet at all on any device[ii], the Week represents a great opportunity for people to discover digital technology and the plethora of benefits that come with it, such as keeping in touch with friends and family and helping to reduce loneliness and isolation.
David Mortimer, Head of Digital Inclusion at Age UK, said: “Technology such as computers, the Internet, smart phones, e-readers and digital cameras can offer something for everyone. Age UK runs ITea and Biscuits Week to help older people discover and experiment with this technology, allowing people to find out what life-changing benefits it can offer.
“Over 5.2 million people aged 65+ have never been online[iii] and 24% of these feel they are “too old” to do so[iv]. However, we know from experience this doesn’t have to be the case and so we’re calling on anyone who knows how to use technology to pass on their knowledge to an older person they know. There’s no need to be a technology guru, just basic knowledge could really make a difference to someone’s life.”
Age UK’s ITea and Biscuits Week runs from 16-22 September 2013. For more information about the week click here or call 0800 169 65 65.
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