This August we’ll be organising our first TEK Eagles sessions, forming part of a project created to enable older members of the Pakistani community to tap into the technology they hold in their hands – their smartphones.
Older people in the community often shy away from using technology without the support to do so, or don’t have the knowledge to effectively use their smartphones to their benefit even when they’d like to. Through sessions specifically designed with cultural and age sensitivity in mind we hope to engage older people to use their smartphones to enhance their daily lives. In turn this can combat loneliness, helping members of the community to feel less isolated, more involved and more informed.
Alchemy Arts was so pleased to be one of two organisations who were successful in their Subculture Programme bid for Ambition for Ageing late last year. At the moment we are busy preparing for these sessions and making final preparations for the courses. Here we share a little more about what we’re doing with our TEK Eagles project, and most importantly why we have created it.
What is TEK Eagles?
TEK Eagles is a project introducing elderly members of the Pakistani community to the basics of using a smartphone, helping them to enjoy the benefits of this technology in their everyday lives. Led by community members in a hands-on, fun and collaborative environment, the sessions will cover key aspects of smartphone use for the elderly including communicating with friends and relatives via different channels, using video call facilities and taking photographs. Each course will be tailored with the individual participants in mind – ensuring the sessions are as useful and engaging as possible. Sessions will be run in three hubs – Manchester, Oldham and Bury - between August and October.
What does TEK Eagles aim to do?
We created TEK Eagles after noticing how many of the things we take for granted, such as video calling relatives abroad, WhatsApp messaging friends or checking up on local news, often weren’t accessible to elderly members of the community. Whilst the main aim is becoming more proficient in the essential aspects of using a smartphone, there are so many sub-benefits to this such as better communication, enhanced mental wellbeing and better access to key information regarding current affairs, health and more. Through effectively passing on this knowledge to participants it should then filter into the community via word of mouth – helping a wider pool of people than the group actually attending.
Outcomes and future prospects
We already have specific outcomes in mind, but what will be especially interesting is to see what else we can discover in relation to technology and elderly members of the Pakistani community. Data will be gathered from each session and processed to gain deeper insights into where participants are when they begin and how they feel as we finish. We’ll use this data to fine-tune the sessions. Our eventual aim is to continue to roll out TEK Eagles across several other locations here in the North West and beyond.
Keep in touch with us on social media for updates from each TEK Eagles session and for further information and insights.