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Author: Go ON UK
Published on 22 July 2014 12:00 PM

BBC News and Weather presenter Barra Best, joins Baroness Lane-Fox in the search for NI’s greatest digital champions.

Go ON UK, the cross-sector charity established by Baroness Lane-Fox to make the UK the world’s most digitally skilled nation, has launched the I Made a Difference Awards – designed to recognise and celebrate the achievements of people and organisations in NI who are helping to boost levels of Basic Online Skills.

Key points

Go ON UK has launched the “I Made a Difference Awards” to recognise and celebrate the achievements of individuals, businesses and charities helping to boost levels of Basic Online Skills in NI.

Barra Best will join Baroness Lane-Fox on the judging panel for the Awards.

The “I Made a Difference Awards” have twelve different sponsored categories. You can Share Your Story now. Nominations close on Friday 8 August, at 6pm.

Vote at: www.digitalskills.com/awards

In the UK, one in five adults (19%) currently fall below the Basic Online Skills threshold and nearly 7 million of those remain offline. In NI, 23% of adults lack Basic Online Skills and therefore the social and economic benefits the web has to offer.

Since April 2014, Go ON UK has been working with local district councils and businesses in NI, to help ‘super charge’ existing local digital skills activity and deliver a 25% reduction in the number of people and organisations below the Basic Online Skills threshold in 12 months.

To help inspire the nation’s effort, Go ON UK has launched the I Made a Difference Awards. Supported by Go ON UK partners including Argos, Age NI, EE, Halifax, Post Office and TalkTalk, the Awards celebrate both the people whose lives have been changed for the better by digital, and those people, business and charities who have shared their Basic Online Skills with others and – in doing so – helped Go ON UK recognise its exciting ambition for NI.

Categories range from ‘Personal Impact’ – for those who have benefited from learning Basic Online Skills – to ‘NI Martha’, which selects one digital champion to become the face of Go ON NI. Prizes will include iPads, connectivity deals, and laptops. The winners will also have a short film produced about their achievements.

BBC News and Weather presenter Barra Best, who is a judge for the I Made a Difference Awards, said: “Basic Online Skills can be life changing for people of all ages. From staying in contact with your family and friends, to saving money and finding a job, having the right skills to be able to navigate the web confidently and safely is vital. I will be looking to reward those people who have gone the extra mile in their community to help transform the lives of others”.

Baroness Lane-Fox, Chair of Go ON UK, said: “2014 is the 25th anniversary of the World Wide Web and it’s more important than ever that we recognise those people who are sharing their digital skills with others. From visiting NI, I have met many inspiring people who are working tirelessly to share their online skills in their communities. It’s these local digital champions who are key to helping us make NI the UK’s most digitally skilled nation and it is right that their work is acknowledged and celebrated.”

The NI I Made a Difference Awards are now open for nominations at www.digitalskills.com/awards, and will be until Friday 8 August 2014.

To nominate yourself or someone else, vote for your favourite, or find out more, visit www.digitalskills.com/awards

For further information, please contact:

Caroline Watson
Go ON UK Press Office
e. caroline@go-on.co.uk
t. 07791 091 500
Tweet: @Go_ON_UK

For more information: Call Age NI Advice: 0808 808 7575