• Voting is open to decide which of three regional finalists will be named the South East’s Digital Hero
• £5,000 award for a charity from the South East at House of Commons ceremony
• 12 UK charities to benefit from £70,000 technology grants from TalkTalk
TalkTalk’s search for the nation’s Digital Heroes has discovered three deserving local candidates, who will now go head to head to win a £5,000 technology grant to help further their cause. And from today people in the South East are being urged to vote for their favourite Digital Hero at http://www.talktalk.co.uk/digitalheroes/.
The TalkTalk Digital Heroes Awards, in conjunction with Citizens Online, is the only awards of its kind to celebrate outstanding people who are using digital technology to benefit their communities.
After calling for entries over the last eight weeks, TalkTalk has shortlisted the three most deserving candidates from each of the UK’s twelve main regions and are opening up the final vote online to the public. The individuals with the most votes from each of the twelve regions will be honoured at a ceremony at the House of Commons judged by a panel that includes UK Digital Champion and dotcom entrepreneur Martha Lane Fox.
This year we launched a new category for a Young Digital Hero, to be judged by Martha Lane Fox, with the winner receiving £4,000 for their chosen charity and an Apple Macbook Air laptop computer.
Eleven of the Digital Heroes winners will win £5,000 to put towards enhancing their digital project while one overall winner, determined by the expert judging panel, will receive a grand prize of £10,000. All 12 winners also get free broadband from TalkTalk for 12 months.
There are three finalists in the South East. Associate headteacher Philip Avery is transforming learning with the innovative use of technology.
Dr Mick Donegan runs a charity that helps people with disabilities to have a better quality of life, through assistive technologies.
Isabel Baukham of Hertfordshire Crossroads Care provides practical and emotional support to carers and the people they care for.
UK Digital Champion Martha Lane Fox said: “I love hearing about the projects digital heroes are running in communities across the UK, I urge everyone to take inspiration from these amazing ninjas, please don’t forget to vote for your favourite. At Go ON UK we’re very excited to be involved with an initiative that shines a light on the extraordinary things people can achieve through digital technology.”
TalkTalk Chief Executive Dido Harding said: “This year’s Digital Heroes Awards features some truly innovative projects, that are already using technology to improve their communities. It was hard to select just three finalists in each region, and I look forward to meeting the winners next month at the Awards Ceremony in London.”
John Fisher, Chief Executive, Citizens Online, said: “More and more services and offerings are now becoming available only through online channels. The government’s Digital by Default programme will mean for example that claimants for the Universal Credit will need to become digitally literate and they include some of the hardest to reach and least confident non-adopters. For these people the work of our Digital Heroes is becoming increasingly important and they deserve our recognition, appreciation and support.
By providing access to this technology, or by teaching the skills so that people can do it themselves, the nation’s Digital Heroes are helping to make a real difference to the UK.
To browse the finalists and register your votes, please visit http://www.talktalk.co.uk/digitalheroes/. Voting will be open until Sunday, November 18. Votes can be cast for any region, not just your own.
The Twitter hashtag for the awards is #digitalheroes.