Tech, Tea and Tales

Lively and Humankind Enterprises are two social enterprises with a vision of a future in which young and older people feel fully valued, included and supported in their communities.

In 2016, Lively and Humankind Enterprises came together to create Tech, Tea and Tales; an innovative intergenerational program that trains and employs young jobseekers to help older people learn how to use technology to connect with friends, family and their interests, and to record their life stories and experiences on film.

In 2018, Nillumbik Shire Council approached Lively and Humankind Enterprises with a view to bringing the program to the Nillumbik community.

Together, Nillumbik Shire Council, Lively and Humankind Enterprises applied for funding to the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal, and obtained a grant to fund the delivery of a five week program at St Andrews Community Centre.

The five week program objectives were as follows:

  • Building community resilience by supporting community-based skill and capability development.
  • Redressing disadvantage caused by remoteness through increasing community connection and reducing social isolation/loneliness.
  • Encouraging positive ageing and building an age friendly community, by facilitating intergenerational connection and providing opportunities for lifelong learning for older community members.
  • Supporting psychosocial recovery from the Black Saturday Bushfires that affected the community 10 years ago, by creating spaces for people to share their stories and connect over shared experience.

Running the program

Funded by the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal, the program was run as a partnership between Humankind Enterprises, Lively, Nillumbik Shire Council and the Wadambuk St Andrews Community Centre.

  • Five young people were recruited through various channels, and trained and employed as ‘Tech and Story Helpers’ for the program, and 27 older community members participated.
  • Two weekly sessions were held over a five-week period, where each older participant worked one-on-one with their assigned young helper for one hour.
  • Sessions were flexible and directed by the older participants and their young helpers. Some participants worked on technology questions, whereas others recorded stories after getting answers to their initial technology questions.
  • Young helpers worked primarily with the same older people each week, except for when participants could not attend a particular week. When participants were not available, young participants either joined in to support another participant or worked with members of the Men’s Shed next door, who were often open to participating.

At the end of the program a community celebration was held to share the video stories recorded by participants (see video below), and to celebrate the learning and connections formed during the program.

Program outcomes

The Tech, Tea and Tales Program had a number of benefits to the young participants, older participants and community in general. These benefits can be found in the report below.

Nillumbik Tech, Tea and Tales - Evaluation Report.pdf(PDF, 645KB)