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Help us find Ireland’s Silver Surfers

Published 12/12/2017

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Open eir and Age Action have teamed up again to host the 2018 open eir Silver Surfer Awards and nominations are now open.

Launching this year’s Silver Surfer Awards were Michelle Toner of open eir, John Church of Age Action, broadcaster and campaigner Brendan Courtney and former winner Betty Smith.
Launching this year’s Silver Surfer Awards were Michelle Toner of open eir, John Church of Age Action, broadcaster and campaigner Brendan Courtney and former winner Betty Smith.

The awards recognise the online achievements of older people using technology as well as the volunteers who teach these skills to thousands of older people across Ireland.

Recent CSO figures show that almost half of Irish people aged over 60 have never used the internet, a disturbing statistic in an increasingly online society. Open eir and Age Action are working to change this and to open up the online world for older people in Ireland.

The overall aim of the open eir Silver Surfer Awards is to raise awareness among older people of the benefits of getting online and to encourage those who are not online to give it a try by celebrating those older people already showing the way.

These awards also highlight the positive impact being online makes to everyday life – whether that’s learning new skills, running a business, staying in touch with family and friends or getting to grips with social media.

Delighted partners

Michelle Toner, Head of CSR with open eir, is delighted to be partnering again with Age Action.

“Having witnessed, first-hand, the amazing and inspiring things that last year’s entrants were doing online in their everyday lives, we are even more excited for the 2018 Awards,” she said.

“Our mission is to get communities across Ireland connected and to maximise the benefits of high-speed broadband. The awards recognise and celebrate the amazing activities Silver Surfers are doing online, demonstrating the positive difference it can make.

"It’s great to see so many older people getting online. I would encourage everyone who is eligible to apply for the awards to do so.”

Benefits

Age Action’s new CEO, John Church, highlighted the benefits for older people of getting online.

“The open eir Silver Surfer Awards are all about driving home the benefit of being online to older people with the aim of getting more people to give it a go and we’re delighted to have open eir on board again ,” he explained.

“The awards are also a platform to celebrate older people embracing the digital world and reminds us that learning is a lifelong process. Age should never be a barrier.  

“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 and older people are the least likely to be online!”

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Back learning after 70 years

Josephine

Josephine (76) has a story to tell about how she ended up on a Age Action Getting Started Computer Training programme; the course which provides free training in computers, smartphones and the internet for everyone in Ireland over the age of 55.