June Whitfield and Geoff Hurst join over 5,000 people to get connected at EE National Techy Tea Party Day
- First EE National Techy Tea Party Day in partnership with Age UK saw over five thousand people get to grips with technology at EE stores, contact centres, offices and partner venues across the country
- Age UK ambassador June Whitfield joined guests at the flagship EE store at Westfield, White City
- 1966 World Cup legends Sir Geoff Hurst and George Cohen attended a special Techy Tea Party at Wembley Stadium
- The Houses of Parliament marked the occasion with tea and tweets, attended by Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office, responsible for the Government’s digital agenda
- More than 500 people sent their first text; over 1,000 set up their first email account; 400 made their first Skype call and over 1,200 went online for the very first time
- For more information visit ee.co.uk/ttpday
9 September, 2014: EE, the UK’s most advanced digital communications company, hosted over five thousand people this morning at over 500 EE stores, contact centres, offices and partner venues across the UK for the first National Techy Tea Party Day, in partnership with Age UK. 2,000 trained store staff hosted events to demonstrate the immense benefits of being online, helping to battle digital exclusion.
Research shows that despite ongoing tech advancements of recent years, there are currently six million people in the UK who have never been online and 10 million who are lacking basic online skills; that’s one in five adults in the UK. The Techy Tea Parties held up and down the country allowed anyone who fell into this group – or anyone who needed a bit more coaching – to ask their burning tech questions in an informal setting, over a cup of tea and biscuits. Attendees received advice on getting to grips with everyday technology such as setting up Facebook profiles, email and Skype accounts and overcoming any issues they might have in getting the most out of their mobiles and tablets.
Famous attendees included national treasure and Age UK ambassador June Whitfield who surprised participants at Westfield White City. 1966 World Cup heroes Geoff Hurst and George Cohen joined a Techy Tea Party at Wembley Stadium to mark the occasion and brush up on their online skills. Government Minister Francis Maude, who is in charge of the Government’s digital agenda, attended a special event at the Houses of Parliament to celebrate the day.
Recent research* revealed that, for 51 per cent of over 65s who are online, the benefits are clear with two thirds (64 per cent) claiming that it has helped them stay in touch with friends and family.
The day was full of firsts for Techy Tea Party participants, and it is estimated more than 1,000 people set up their first email account; more than 400 people made their first Skype call; and over 1,200 went online for the very first time.
Mrs Kelly, aged 83, from West London, made her first Skype call at the flagship Techy Tea Party event at the EE store, Westfield White City in London.
Mrs Kelly said: “I hadn’t realised how useful all this new technology could be to me, I had just about mastered texting but this video-calling is life-changing. To be able to see my daughter’s face and hear her voice on my tablet makes the distance across the pond seem more bearable.”
June Whitfield CBE, an ambassador for Techy Tea Party partner Age UK, said: “The EE National Techy Tea Party Day has been wonderful and it was great to see so many people getting to grips with modern technology. I know that mastering today’s gadgets and the Internet isn’t always plain sailing, but it’s definitely worth trying. Since getting online I’m enjoying so many of the benefits it can offer, including keeping better connected with family and friends over email, FaceTime, and even enjoy challenging them to a game of Scrabble!”
Olaf Swantee, CEO of EE, said: “I am very proud that two thousand of our EE store staff were able to use their expert knowledge to help those most in need to learn essential digital skills today. Introducing people to the great benefits of everyday technology is something we are passionate about, and the first EE National Techy Tea Party Day has been a huge success.”
EE’s Techy Tea Parties have been happening at a local level across EE offices, call centres and community venues since the brand launched in 2012 with the view to help more people get online. EE National Techy Tea Party Day is an evolution of this desire to help people discover the magic of technology and is further reinforcement of EE’s commitment to improve basic digital skills of people of all ages across the country.
The Techy Tea Party campaign 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.”
Samsung were the device partner and Asda and Tetley supported the day, providing tea and biscuits to all the EE events.
For more information, go to: ee.co.uk/ttpday.
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For more information, please contact the EE Press Office:
Olivia Burrell, Olivia.firstname.lastname@example.org, 07816 131 302
Rik Salmon, Rik.Salmon@mcsaatchi.com, 07834 980 541
Notes to editors
Age UK Digital Evidence Review 2013
*Over 500 EE stores will cease normal 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. Customers who drop in will be welcome to join the Techy Tea Party.
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.