Brendan Courtney, Age Action Ambassador and MC of the 2018 awards; Betty Smith, 2017 winner ‘Hobbies on the Net’ category; Michelle Toner, Head of CSR, eir (red coat) and John Church, CEO, Age Action
Open eir is delighted to announce that nominations are open for people in Longford to enter the 2018 open eir Silver Surfer Awards. This is the second year the company will sponsor these awards, which are run in conjunction with Age Action.
The awards recognise the online achievements of older people using technology as well as the volunteers who teach these skills to thousands of older people across Ireland.
Recent CSO figures show that almost half of Irish people aged over 60 have never used the internet, a disturbing statistic in an increasingly online society. Open eir and Age Action are working to change this and to open up the online world for older people in Ireland.
The overall aim of the open eir Silver Surfer Awards is to raise awareness among older people of the benefits of getting online and to encourage those who are not online to give it a try by celebrating those older people already showing the way. These awards also highlight the positive impact being online makes to everyday life – whether that’s learning new skills, running a business, staying in touch with family and friends or getting to grips with social media.
The six categories for the 2018 open eir Silver Surfer Awards are:
* The Getting Started IT Award – An older person who is new to technology and has overcome challenges to become an IT user.
* Hobbies on the Net Award – An older person who uses the internet to pursue their passion or hobby, or who uses IT for communication and social networking.
* Golden IT Award – An individual over the age of 80 who uses technology to enhance their life.
* Community Champion IT Award – An older person who uses the internet to benefit their community locally or nationally
* The IT Enthusiast Award – The ‘Give it a Go’ older person who embraces the internet or technology with a sense of fun and adventure.
* IT Tutor(s) of the Year Award – An individual or group of any age who provide voluntary support to older learners.
Nominations for the awards are open from today. The closing date for entries is Wednesday, February 21, 2018. Nominations can be made through the Age Action website (www.ageaction.ie). The awards ceremony takes place in eir’s Head Office, 1HSQ, on Tuesday, April 17, 2018.
Speaking about the awards Michelle Toner, Head of CSR, eir said “We are delighted to partner with Age Action once again for these Awards. Having witnessed, first-hand, the amazing and inspiring things that last year’s entrants were doing online in their everyday lives, we are even more excited for the 2018 Awards. Our mission is to get communities in Longford and across Ireland connected and to maximise the benefits of high speed broadband. The Awards recognise and celebrate the amazing activities Silver Surfers are doing online, demonstrating the positive difference it can make. It’s great to see so many older people getting online. I would encourage everyone who is eligible to apply for the awards to do so, that way their efforts can be recognised and celebrated.”
Commenting further, John Church, CEO, Age Action spoke about the benefits going online can have for older people; “The open eir Silver Surfer Awards are all about driving home the benefit of being online to older people with the aim of getting more people in Longford to give it a go! The awards are also a platform to celebrate older people embracing the digital world and reminds us that learning is a lifelong process. Age should never be a barrier. It is hard to believe but almost one in five adults have never used the internet – that is more than 550,000 people in Ireland and older people are the least likely to be online! We’re delighted to have open eir on board for the awards again this year. Open eir is working hard to bring broadband to communities across Ireland and supporting the Age Action team in ensuring our Silver Surfers get the most of the exciting opportunities available online.”
Age Action promotes the awards through its website, social media sites, and its Ageing Matters magazine. The awards are also promoted in secondary schools, libraries, nursing homes and in parish newsletters across the country.