Older people in Glasgow invited to improve their online skills over a cuppa

Older learners cafe

BT is inviting older people in Glasgow to come along and improve their digital skills over a cup of tea or coffee in the city centre later this month. 

Aimed at people aged 65 or above, the free sessions will offer support on how to get things done safely online, and help with using different digital devices. 

The sessions will be held at Café Fame on Hope Street in the centre of Glasgow, with the café turned into the ‘BTea Room’ over three days from Wednesday 4th to Friday 6th October. BT will be offering free food, teas and coffees to those who come along and take part. 

Hosted in partnership between BT and UK charity AbilityNet, tech experts will be on hand over three days to offer advice to older people, from complete beginners to those looking to increase their confidence online. 

They’ll offer support on the basics and carrying out everyday tasks like online shopping, to support on specific devices and how the internet can help older people socialise and stay in touch with friends and family. A key focus of the training will be on online safety and avoiding scams. 

With more and more everyday activities such as booking a doctor’s appointment, shopping, banking and paying bills increasingly difficult to do without going online, there are concerns that some older people may be missing out due to a lack of confidence or access to the internet. 

The charity Centre for Ageing Better says that although internet use is still increasing among 55-74 year olds, the growth is slowing and there are still more than three million people aged 55 and over who have never used the internet. 

The charity’s latest State of Ageing report finds that, while eight in ten people aged 65 and over now have internet access, only six in ten have the skills to be able to access the internet independently. 

Victoria Johnson, Social Impact Director at BT Group, said: “While we know that the pandemic resulted in many older people using online devices for the first time, it’s sadly the case that there are still many who, for various reasons, aren’t online. It’s really important we try to change this and give those people who are reluctant, or those who lack confidence, the skills to get online.  

“Experts tell us that the best approach to helping older people gain confidence and improve their online skills is through tailored, one-to-one support delivered among peers. What better way to do this than over a cuppa in a great venue.” 

The sessions – created in partnership with AbilityNet – will offer a range of options, from a quick drop-in to ask specific questions, to more detailed 30 minute and 90 minute sessions.  

The sessions in Glasgow are part of a UK-wide ‘Senior Skills’ Programme from BT and AbilityNet that will deliver more than 1,000 group and one-to-one training sessions to those who need it most in regions across the UK. 

The partnership between the two organisations has set the goal to help improve the digital skills of 5,000 older and digitally excluded people across the UK in 2023. 

The sessions will take place at Café Fame (127 Hope St, Glasgow, G2 6PE) from 9am until 5:30pm over three days on Wednesday 4 October, Thursday (5 Oct) and Friday (6 Oct). People interested in attending can find out more and sign up to guarantee a place by either phoning 01412 891100 or going to: www.bt.com/btearooms 

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