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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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Age Action Calls for €9 per week Rise In Old Age Pension in Budget 2020

Organisation also proposes that Government commission research on the Cost of Ageing to ensure policy meets needs of ageing population

Age Action, the advocacy organisation for older people, has called for the state’s Old Age Pension to increase by €9 per week in Budget 2020. The call was made at today’s Pre-Budget Forum, which is being organised by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection and is being held in Dublin Castle’s Conference Centre.

Celine Clarke, Age Action’s Head of Advocacy and Communications, said that a €9 increase in the weekly Old Age Pension would be a key step in building towards the Government’s own commitment that the pension should be set at 35% of average weekly earnings.

“The National Pensions Framework was published almost 10 years ago and it committed the Government to benchmarking the Old Age Pension at 35% of average weekly earnings. In order to move the current pension payment towards the delivery of that target, we are calling on the Government to increase the weekly pension payment by €9,” Celine Clarke said.

Ms Clarke provided additional context to Age Action’s call for a €9 per week pension rise, when she explained that in 2009, the weekly income for pensioners depending on the State – when all the benefits were added together – was €265.44, this year it’s €273.63 – only €7.89 higher than it was higher than it was 10 years ago. 

“While pensions have increased by a welcome €5 per week over the last few years, there is no clear and transparent formula informing these increases, and Ireland is also unusual in setting the pension rate in the budget every year. Age Action is urging the Government to consider applying a triple lock formula for pension increases – namely, guaranteeing that the basic State pension will rise by a minimum of either 2.5%, the rate of inflation or average earnings growth, whichever is the larger.”

In addition to the proposals on pension increases, Age Action is also calling for:

  • The commissioning of research by Government on the Cost of Ageing to inform the development of policy so that the country can meet the needs of our ageing population – a similar exercise has been carried out in relation to the Cost of Disability;
  • Increase the income threshold for all means-tested benefits in line with increases to the Old Age Pension and secondary benefits;
  • Increase the Living Alone Allowance by €5 per week;
  • Increase the Fuel Allowance rate by €2.35 and reintroduce a 32-week payment period.

Pre-Budget Submission to Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

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