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Open eir announces sponsorship of Silver Surfer Awards

Published 21/10/2016

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Open eir has announced its sponsorship of the Silver Surfer Awards as part of a two-year partnership with Age Action. Now in its eighth year, the Awards celebrate and recognise the achievements of older people using technology and the Internet as well as the volunteers who teach these skills.

Baz Ashmawy and his amazing mum Nancy joined Age Action's Eamon Timmins and Carolan Lennon of open eir to launch the Silver Surfers Awards

The five categories for the 2017 open eir Silver Surfer Awards are:

New to IT Award - A person over the age of 50 who is new to technology and has overcome challenges to become an IT user.

Hobbies on the Net Award - An older person who uses the Internet to pursue their passion or hobby, or who uses IT for communication and social networking.

Golden IT Award - An individual over the age of 80 who uses technology to enhance their life.

Silver Surfer Award - An older person who embraces the Internet or technology with a sense of fun and adventure.

IT Tutor(s) of the Year Award - An individual or group who provides voluntary support to older learners.

Nominate someone you know!

The closing date for entry is Friday, 17 February 2017 and you make your nomination online.The awards ceremony takes place in eir’s Head Office, 1HSQ, on Tuesday, 28 March 2017.

Carolan Lennon, Managing Director, open eir said, “We are on a mission to not only get Ireland connected but to get Ireland maximising the benefits of high speed broadband. Our rural high-speed rollout programme is giving more Silver Surfers in communities across the country the ability to access high-speed broadband keeping families and friends connected no matter where they live or work. 

"We are delighted to work with Age Action by sponsoring the Silver Surfer awards. The Internet opens up a whole new world to users and we want to recognise, celebrate and reward all of the great things our Silver Surfers are doing.

"If you are a Silver Surfer or if you have a family member or friend who is using the Internet as part of their daily lives then please log onto the Age Action website and fill out the nomination form. By doing so you’re highlighting the benefits of surfing online to older people throughout Ireland.”

Eamon Timmins, Chief Executive, Age Action, said, “The open eir Silver Surfer Awards is all about driving home the benefit of being online to older people with the aim of getting more people to give it a go!  It is hard to believe but almost one in five adults have never used the internet – that is more than 550,000 people in Ireland!  The majority of these are older people with 53% (280,000) of these aged 60 to 74 never having been online.  Only 3% of those aged 75 and over have used the internet.

“We’re delighted that open eir has come on board to support the awards. Open eir is working hard to bring broadband to communities across Ireland and every day they extend their network to include more and more rural communities which in turn has a positive impact on our members lives.

"Not only are they facilitating access to high-speed broadband but they are also working closely with the Age Action team to ensure that our Silver Surfers know how to make the most of the exciting opportunities available online.”

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Pension Inequality Firmly on the Election 2020 Campaign Agenda

Age Action joined the SIPTU led coalition of non-governmental organisations for the launch of the STOP67 campaign in Dublin today (Thursday, 23rd January) which aims to halt the increase of the state pension age for workers to 67 from next year in order to address inequalities in the pension system.

Speaking at the formal campaign launch in the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland in Kildare Street, Dublin, SIPTU Deputy General Secretary, Ethel Buckley, said: “STOP67 is the SIPTU campaign to stop the increase of the state pension age to 67 on 1st January, 2021.

“SIPTU representatives are not surprised this is a major general election issue. We have been hearing from our members since the abolition of the transitional pension scheme in 2014 about the difficulties that the retirement gap has been causing for workers. This includes the absolute indignity of people coming up to 65 years of age who are expecting to get their pension and having to sign on the dole.”

National Women’s Council of Ireland Director, Orla O’Connor, said: “This is a core issue for women. Women rely on the state pension for the vast majority of their income in older age. So, anything that impacts on state pensions disproportionally impacts on women.”

Age Action Chief Executive, Paddy Connolly, said: “This campaign is not only about stopping the rise of the pension age to 67 but also the creation of a stakeholder forum which will consider issues such as finances, age discrimination and others that effect people in their retirement.”

Active Retirement Ireland chief executive, Maureen Kavanagh, said: “Ireland has the youngest population but the highest prospective retirement age in the EU. We are not under the demographic pressure of other countries. Retirement is a great part of life but it has to be voluntary, flexible and appropriate. We can’t force people out of a job that they love, or to stay in their job.”

SIPTU General Secretary, Joe Cunningham, called on Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil to make clear their position on the pensions issue.

He added: “All the other political parties are supporting the ‘STOP67’ campaign. The big two parties must make their position clear.”