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 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. Three sessions have successfully ran in Manchester, Oldham and Bury, while our Salford project has recently launched in an alternative digital-focused format. The first Alchemy Arts sessions took place in August 2019, and we were pleased to be one of two organisations who were successful in their Subculture Programme bid for Ambition for Ageing late last year.
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.
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.
CASE STUDY – IMTIAZ HUSSAIN: JINNAH DAY CENTRE MANAGER
“At the age of 63 I had given up learning about mobile telephone technology. I have always avoided the mobile phone believing that there was very little benefit in its use and perhaps it was too complicated for me. All my life I have survived by using landlines – we didn’t have mobile phones in the past and had done relatively well.
“The very first lesson the group was asked to give advantages and disadvantages of mobile technology. To my amazement there were only three disadvantages, one of them being that people do not talk to each other face-to-face. However when it came to listing advantages, the list grew to over 20. It made me think that there was something useful in technology. My wife had left me a mobile phone before she travelled abroad to look after her mother. I avoided even touching it at first.
“I thought I would bring it to the first lesson. I was amazed by the potential of the mobile and how easy it was to use. Before long I was using Skype to visually see my wife and her mother, and they could see me. It was like something out of Star Trek that we used to watch in the 70’s!
“Now we have a group where we share things such as what I have cooked for my daughter at the weekend. My mind was blown when I learned to watch YouTube clips on the huge TV screen at home. I would start looking at something useful such as an inspirational speech and finish up watching a buffalo being attacked by a lion and then another buffalo rescuing the first by attacking the lion.
“But the greatest thing which happened to me was the birth of my first grandson on Christmas Day. I was sending messages and videos to all parts of the world through my mobile phone. My daughter sends me photos of the baby every few hours. I feel so proud and it has made me realise that I am now connected to more people than I ever was. Thank you to TEK Eagles for making all this happen!”
If you would like to speak to us further about any of the projects we currently run, or are interested in getting involved, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.