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Search for 2011 Age UK Internet Champion has begun

Published on 18 October 2010 11:30 PM

The search for the 2011 Age UK Internet Champion has begun

The new working lunch: the number of people in later life embracing the new technological era doubles since 2006.

The search for the 2011 Age UK Internet Champion of the Year, supported by BT, starts today (Tuesday 19 October) - and Age UK and BT are calling on all computer connoisseurs aged 55+ to enter the search to become a leading light for older people who might lack the knowledge or confidence to get online. The number of people over 65 using the Internet has increased from 18% in 2006 to 40% in 2010 (1), turning the traditional stereotypes of a technophobic older generation on their head.

But despite this encouraging sign that people in later life are shunning the stereotype of a technophobic older generation, there are still 6 million people aged 65+ who have never accessed the internet (2) and are therefore missing out on the vast financial and social benefits of the Internet such as keeping in touch with grandchildren, discovering new hobbies and interests, and saving money on products and services by shopping around.

The search for the 2011 Internet Champion marks the second year of the initiative which sees people over 55 nominate themselves to become a ‘Champion' for a year, helping Age UK to advocate the use of the Internet to peers. This year's theme is ‘how the Internet changed my life' and nominees are being asked to share the life-changing benefits they have gained from being online. It is hoped that the very real rewards the champions have experienced will encourage others to get online. The winner of the search will be announced at an exclusive ceremony at the BT Tower in London on 24 January 2011. The Age UK Internet Champion and three runners up will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to London with a day of London activities and a laptop and broadband package.

David Mortimer, Head of Digital Inclusion at Age UK, said: 'Age UK is committed to helping older people access the advantages of using the Internet for themselves. With 6 million people over 65 not online, the digital divide is still vast. Through the Age UK Internet Champion search we are showcasing real stories to inspire others to make the most of all the Internet has to offer.'

Caroline Sheridan, Director Corporate Responsibility at BT said: 'BT is delighted to be supporting the Internet Champions award scheme for a second year running which recognises people who have inspired others to discover a whole new world online. We are committed to making a positive difference to society and by working with Age UK we are helping more older people to get online and make the most of communications technology.'

To enter the competition log on to or call 0800 169 6565 to request a hard copy of the application form.

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.

- ENDS -

  1. Internet Access Households and Individuals reports, Office for National Statistics, August 2006 and August 2010. This statistic shows the number of people who have ever used the internet rather than the ones who are using it at the moment.
  2. 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 Editor

  • Recent Age UK research shows that 42% of people over 65 thought that ‘keeping in touch with friends and family' would make the most difference to their lives if they had the Internet (ICM Research polling for Age UK, September 2010)
  • Interviews and quotes available from the 2010 Internet Champions Lucy Berry and Fredrick Briggs. Please contact Ashley Cox at Age UK on 020 8765 7513 or email

About Age UK

Age UK is the new force combining Age Concern and Help the Aged. The Age UK family includes Age Scotland, Age Cymru and Age NI.

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 500 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 18 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

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

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Last updated: Oct 06 2017

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