Jo Swinson MP is calling for local groups to enter the TalkTalk Digital Heroes Awards 2012, a unique competition that recognises and rewards people who are using technology to help their communities.
Twelve winners, one from each part of the UK – voted for by the public – will each get £5,000 to enhance their digital projects, with one overall winner getting £10,000.
This year there will be an additional category for children and young people, with a top prize of £4,000 for their chosen charity and an Apple MacBook Air.
Run in partnership with the Daily Mirror and charities Citizens Online and Go ON UK, the awards aim to recognise inspirational people who use technology to benefit their local community.
The awards, now in their fifth year, have provided funding and support to 49 organisations across Britain, including various charities which have used technology to help children and youth, the homeless and people with disabilities.
Commenting on the awards, Jo said:
"Digital technology plays an increasingly important role, helping to improve people's lives and encourage the growth of local businesses.
"Digital Heroes is a wonderful initiative which recognises the people who have worked hard to champion digital technology and made a difference to their community.
"I hope that projects in East Dunbartonshire will be able to benefit from this year's scheme and I will be encouraging as many local groups and individuals as possible to enter the competition."
Martha Lane Fox, UK's Digital Champion and chair of Go ON UK, also supports the scheme:
"It's always inspiring to meet digital champions from communities across the UK, I look forward to the Digital Heroes Awards year after year. At Go ON UK we're pleased to get involved with an initiative that shines a light on the extraordinary things people can achieve through digital technology and I am excited that this year we have a new award that will recognise a young champion under 18 who has helped get people online."
Dido Harding, Chief Executive of TalkTalk, said:
"Digital Heroes is the only competition of its kind, and each year attracts hundreds of nominations from people across the country. It has already made an enormous difference to dozens of important projects and I am delighted to be supporting it again this year. I look forward to seeing submissions from East Dunbartonshire and learning about the great digital heroes in the area."
TalkTalk is the UK's leading value-for-money provider of fixed line broadband, voice telephony and mobile services to consumers and business users. Under the TalkTalk, AOL Broadband and TalkTalk Business brands, TalkTalk serves 5 million customers across the UK. TalkTalk operates a fully unbundled network, which extends to over 2,500 exchanges and covers more than 92% of our customers
TalkTalk is the only ISP to provide HomeSafe™, our unique and groundbreaking network-level security and safety service, free of charge, exclusively to our customers. HomeSafe™ protects every device in the home using a TalkTalk broadband connection and since launch last year has been activated by 460,000 customers. HomeSafe™ was awarded the Broadband Innovation Award in the uSwitch Broadband Awards 2012, and the Internet Service Providers' Association 2012 Award for Internet Safety and Security. In Simplifydigital's 2011 Customer Choice Awards, TalkTalk's Essentials package was awarded Best Value Broadband and Home Phone Bundle.
About Citizens Online
Citizens Online is the UK's leading digital participation charity committed to ensuring that digital technology is easy to access and usable by all. We work closely with industry, government and the voluntary sector to deliver projects, which promote social inclusion and community regeneration through the use of ICT and digital technology. www.citizensonline.org.uk
About Go ON UK
Go ON UK is a radical cross-sector partnership to make the UK the world's most digitally capable nation where no one – old or disadvantaged- and no organisation – even the smallest – is left behind. It aims to bring the benefits of the internet to every individual and every organisation in every community across the UK.http://www.go-on-uk.org/