Charity says older people are more receptive to tutors of a similar age as it gears up for annual ITea and Biscuits event
For the past five years, Age UK has been giving the quintessentially British pastime of tea and biscuits a technological twist, with its ITea and Biscuits event that teaches elderly people computer skills.
Now the charity is asking for volunteers to help make the annual event go with more of a swing; especially if these volunteers are themselves older.
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Keith Peterson, an internet champion at Age UK, said: “It is important to encourage more elderly people to become internet savvy, and for those already online to show that age is no barrier. Older people have more empathy with their peers and are more likely to accept tuition from someone their age.
“In the UK, volunteering, especially for the retired, is a way of life. Being able to help gives one a purpose and an inner glow,” he said.
The Age UK ITea and Biscuits event lasts a week starting on 17 September and involves a range of classes and workshops for older people, many of whom will be unfamiliar with, or have never used, the internet.
And although Ofcom figures show that 64 per cent of 65- to 74-year-olds are now online, Age UK wants more people to reap the benefits technology has to offer.
David Mortimer, head of digital inclusion at Age UK, explained that understanding technology was becoming very important for the elderly.
“The internet itself isn’t necessarily interesting to everyone, but the fun begins when people learn what it can allow them to do. A great way to encourage someone to get online is by linking the experience to their hobbies and interests,” he said.
Visit their website or call 0800 169 6565 to find out more information on ITea and Biscuit sessions near you and details on how to help Age UK.
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