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Age UK Internet Champion finalists announced

Published on 15 December 2010 12:30 AM

Age UK has today announced the four finalists competing for the title of Age UK Internet Champion 2011. Margaret Goodwin, 64 from Henley-on-Thames, Tony Murphy, 69 from Chichester, Roger Ling, 62 from Essex and Dave Howe, 70 from Devon, all fought off stiff competition to reach the final of the Age UK Internet Champion search.

2010 marks the second year of the initiative, supported by BT, which sees people over 55 nominate themselves to become ‘Champion' for a year, helping Age UK to advocate the use of the Internet to peers. This year's theme was ‘how the Internet changed my life' and nominees were asked to share the life-changing benefits they have gained from being online.

Margaret Goodwin impressed the judges with her understanding of the difficulties people in later life face when learning to get online and also the help she is providing her Housing Association's social networking group. Tony Murphy provides full time care for his wife who suffers from Pick's disease and also is a volunteer bus driver for the local hospital. Tony uses the internet to access support groups for carers and the Internet enables him to run his home independently.

Roger Ling stood out because of the variety of ways he was using the Internet, from making his own wine from recipes he found online to using facebook to keep in touch with his grandchildren. Roger suffers from COPD (emphysema) and has undertaken several computer courses. Dave Howe, like Roger, suffers from COPD and is an IT volunteer trainer at Age UK Devon helping people in later life in the area get online.

All four finalists will attend a prestigious awards ceremony at the BT Tower in London on 24th January 2011 and will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to London with a day of London activities and a laptop and broadband package courtesy of BT.

There are currently 6 million people aged 65+ in the UK who have never accessed the internet (1) and are therefore missing out on vast financial and social benefits such as keeping in touch with grandchildren, discovering new hobbies and interests, and saving money on products and services by shopping around.

David Mortimer, Head of Digital Inclusion at Age UK, said: 'A huge congratulations to all four finalists for making it through to the final. The quality of applications this year was astounding and it was very difficult to choose just four finalists but they all displayed the qualities we are looking for in our Champion and we look forward to finding out who the winner will be in January. Good luck!'

Age UK manages a number of UK-wide digital inclusion programmes, including the Digital Inclusion Network consisting of 190+ partner organisations and Connect with IT, a comprehensive digital inclusion campaign involving itea and biscuits week, myfriends online week, Age UK Internet Champion of the Year competition and IT Volunteering. More than 200,000 people in later life have been helped to date.

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  1. Internet Access Households and Individuals 2010 report, Office for National Statistics and mid-2009 population estimates for the UK, Office for National Statistics, June 2010. This statistic shows the number of people who have never used the internet rather than the ones who are using it at the moment.

Notes to Editors

Age UK works in partnership with Age Scotland, Age Cymru and Age NI. For media enquiries relating to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland please contact the appropriate national office:.Age Scotland on 0131 668 8055, Age Cymru on 029 2043 1562 and Age NI on 028 9024 5729.

Age UK is inspired by the belief that it can improve the lives of people in later life. It celebrates ageing and believes it presents unprecedented opportunities and challenges at home and abroad. Age UK will challenge ageist prejudice in society, provide services that address market failures and support the public and private sectors to design age-friendly products and services. It will support people to remain in their own homes through campaigning and practical services and its Information and Advice service will offer millions of people support on a range of issues from claiming benefits to staying fit and healthy.

Age UK will fund biomedical research that helps tackle the ill health and poor quality of life that are too common as people age. Working with over 350 partners across the country, Age UK helps influence local decisions and delivers the most appropriate services. Its network of over 475 shops will act as a focal point for the local community, providing information and help with local services. Age UK works across the globe as well as in the UK, with its international partner, Help Age International, championing older people's rights and needs and as an active member of the DEC.

About BT

  • BT's new Get IT Together campaign is aimed at making it easier for people to help friends or family members get online. Over 9 million people in the UK are still to use the internet, and BT research published on the 18th October suggests one of the main reasons is down to well-meaning ‘surrogate surfers.'

BT is one of the world's leading providers of communications solutions and services operating in more than 170 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to our customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband and internet products and services and converged fixed/mobile products and services. BT consists principally of four lines of business: BT Global Services, Openreach, BT Retail and BT Wholesale.

In the year ended 31 March 2010, BT Group's revenue was £20,911 million.

British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York.

For more information, visit www.bt.com/aboutbtopens link in new window

Media contact: Ashley Cox
Telephone: 020 8765 7513
Out-of-hours: 07071 243 243

Last updated: Oct 06 2017

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