London,
20
July
2014
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00:00
Europe/London

EE partners with Age UK to launch national techy tea party day: helping the UK to get connected

• Registration opens today for the inaugural EE National Techy Tea Party Day which takes place on 9 September 2014.

• Age UK announced as charity partner for nationwide event which aims to tackle digital exclusion.

• Over 500 EE stores across the UK will close their tills from 9.30-11am to allow over 2,000 EE staff to host Techy Tea Parties where they will help people improve their basic digital skills.

• To register to attend a Techy Tea Party on 9 September visit any EE store across the UK or go to http://ee.co.uk/ttpday.

• June Whitfield CBE, Age UK ambassador, hosted a special Techy Tea Party to encourage people of any age to sign up to EE’s National Techy Tea Party Day. 

21 July, 2014: EE, the UK’s most advanced digital communications company, has partnered with Age UK to launch EE National Techy Tea Party Day which will take place on Tuesday 9 September 2014. EE announced that on National Techy Tea Party Day over 500 EE stores, offices and contact centres will cease trading* from 9.30am-11am to host events for members of the public who want to improve their basic digital skills. 

EE is taking its digital inclusion campaign nationwide with Age UK following the huge success of its Techy Tea Parties, which have been happening at a local level across EE offices, call centres and community venues since the brand launched in 2012.  EE National Techy Tea Party Day is an evolution of the company’s desire to help people discover the magic of technology, inspiring people to get connected and is further reinforcement of EE’s commitment to improve basic digital skills of people of all ages across the country.

People who sign up to attend an EE National Techy Tea Party on 9 September are invited by EE to bring along the device they want to learn more about such as a mobile phone, tablet or laptop. EE staff will help them get to grips with everyday technology as well as teaching basic online skills.

Recent research has revealed that there are currently six million people in the UK who’ve never been online[i] and 4.8 million[ii] of those are aged 65 and over. The Internet offers huge benefits to people, allowing them to keep in contact with loved ones, make huge savings and pursue hobbies, so it is important that people in later life are given the opportunity to use the Internet and given sufficient support and advice to do.

Age UK ambassador June Whitfield CBE supported the launch by hosting a special Techy Tea Party at the Age UK East London Computer Centre in Hackney to encourage people to sign up. June discussed the benefits of being connected for older people over tea and biscuits.

June said: “I believe that we should all be given the chance to learn basic digital skills. There are endless opportunities online and I would encourage everyone, no matter what their age, to embrace it. One of the great advantages is being able to keep in contact with family members and friends no matter where they are.  Anyone who has yet to get online should certainly give it a try, and National Techy Tea Party Day is a chance to get started.”

Olaf Swantee, CEO of EE, said: “There are huge benefits to being connected in a world that is becoming increasingly digital but technology is moving so fast and it can be hard to keep up.  Through EE National Techy Tea Party Day we want to use our staff’s expert knowledge to help those most in need develop these key digital skills.”

Lucy Hastings, Lead for Digital Inclusion at Age UK, said: “Older people tell us technology can be daunting and they are not quite sure how to use it or how to get online. Age UK locally helps thousands of people in later life to get to grips with technology, gaining skills and confidence to use the Internet. EE National Techy Tea Party Day will give older people the chance on the high street to experience what the Internet can offer such as keeping in touch with loved ones, discovering new hobbies, and saving money by shopping around.”

The campaign, which up until now has only run at a local level, has already won the Prime Minister’s Big Society Award for its influence in boosting digital literacy and its success with helping local communities overcome their tech challenges. 

Commenting on the win in April 2014 the Prime Minister said: “Whether it’s creating an email account to connect with friends and family, or learning how to use a tablet, EE’s ‘Techy Tea Parties’ are demystifying technology and giving people the skills to get online.”

EE is inviting charities, businesses and local communities to get involved and support the day. Go ON UK, UK Online Centres, Marie Curie Cancer Care, EON, the Post Office, the National Citizenship Service, the Royal Voluntary Service, Argos and Wembley have all pledged support.

Samsung are the device partner and Asda and Tetley have signed up as EE National Techy Tea Party Day supporters to provide tea and biscuits for all the EE events.

Registration opens today and anyone interested in attending a Techy Tea Party can visit any EE store or go to ee.co.uk/ttpday.

- ENDS –

For more information, please contact the EE Press Office:

Olivia Burrell, Olivia.burrell@mcsaatchi.com, 07816 131 302

Rik Salmon, Rik.Salmon@mcsaatchi.com, 07834 980 541

Notes to editors

*Over 500 EE stores will cease trading between 9/9.30-11am on the 9th of September 2014 – dependent on usual store opening time – so that EE can focus on delivering essential digital skills support at a series of nationwide in-store Techy Tea Party events. EE recommends that customers wishing to come into an EE store for reasons other than joining a Techy Tea Party come in after 11am. Should customers come in to store during this time, a dedicated member of staff will be available to support customers with general queries, however they will not be able to conduct any sales transactions or top-ups until after 11am. Customers who drop in will be welcome to join the Techy Tea Party until this time.

About EE’s Techy Tea Party initiative

EE launched Techy Tea Parties in October 2012 as part of its commitment to building the nation’s digital skills and to enable its employees to support an important social issue. Since launch 1,000 EE employees have volunteered at over 100 Techy Tea Parties, in 26 different locations, across its offices, contact centres and in community venues.

Through the Techy Tea Party initiative EE has helped over 1,100 guests with their tech challenges. Feedback from Techy Tea Parties has been extremely positive, with 90% of guests saying they had learnt more about the internet and technology due to attending the event. 

EE has also launched consumer digital skills resources at ee.co.uk/digital-living that provide people with tips and tools to inspire their friends and family to get online, as well as e-safety advice for parents. This activity supports EE’s commitment to Go ON UK, a charity which EE is a Founder partner of.

About EE

EE is the largest and most advanced digital communications company in Britain, delivering mobile and fixed communications services to consumers, businesses, government and the wholesale market. EE has approximately 15,000 employees and 550 retail stores, and serves more than 30 million customers across its mobile, fixed and wholesale businesses.

EE runs the UK's biggest, fastest and most reliable mobile network, pioneering the UK's first superfast 4G mobile service in October 2012. EE's 4G coverage today reaches more than 70% of the UK population.  EE’s 2G coverage reaches 99% of the population while 3G reaches 98%. EE's superfast fibre broadband service covers 54% of the UK population, and ADSL broadband service covers 98.7% of the population. 

In the last few years, EE has received extensive independent recognition including being ranked the UK's best overall network by RootMetrics®, Best network at the 2014 Mobile News Awards, Fastest Network at the 2013 uSwitch Awards, Best Network at the 2013 Mobile Choice Consumer Awards and What Mobile Awards, Network Innovation at the 2013 Recombu awards and Best Network for Business at the 2013 Mobile Industry awards. 

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[i] Age UK Digital Evidence Review 2013
[ii] Age UK Digital Evidence Review 2013