Shortlisted finalists for Spring Online 2012 Best Event announced

Six organisations have been shortlisted for the Spring Online 2012 Best Event competition.

Around 2,000 digital taster events took place between 23-27 April 2012 as part of Spring Online with Silver Surfers’ Day 2012, Digital Unite’s award winning national digital inclusion campaign for older people and other less confident computer users. Events were held across the UK in a selection of venues including housing associations, libraries, village halls, the Victoria and Albert Museum and even a fish and chip shop.

An estimated 30,000 people were helped to engage with modern technology, many for the first time. Learner stories from the week’s activities include a lady of 100 years who enjoyed using computers and the internet so much at her event she’s asked her son to buy her a laptop and a gentleman recovering from a stroke who was helped to access services such as online banking and shopping making a real difference to his quality of life.

They are:

  • The DVLA in Wales who teamed up with Swansea City Council to help over 50 people aged between 50 and 80 years with their first experiences of emailing, web browsing, using Skype and shopping online.
  • The Wealden Senior Citizens' Partnership who worked with Heathfield Community College to bridge the generation gap with students helping older people get to grips with modern technology including Facebook and Twitter.
  • Starting Point in Stockport who took over their local fish and chip shop to introduce local older people to the wonders of genealogy teaching them how to trace their family trees online.
  • Home Group who ran taster events for their tenants right across the country, transforming their one-to-one computer learning sessions into social occasions complete with a Swing/Big Band theme.
  • Halton Housing Trust who involved their local primary schools, enlisting Little Diamond Helpers to show the ‘grown ups’ how to send emails to the Queen and how to take a trip down memory lane on Google maps.
  • Wigan and Leigh Housing who got people on board with new technology by running taster sessions on their mobile bus which they parked at supermarkets, on the local estates and in town centres.

The winner will be announced at an official awards ceremony in the autumn and will receive two places for nominated team members on Digital Unite's Digital Champion ITQ and £100 in cash, a total prize value of over £1,200.

Emma Solomon OBE, Managing Director at Digital Unite said: “Every year it never ceases to amaze me the extent to which our event holders get behind our campaign. So many of them throw their heart and soul into making their Spring Online event a success, from enlisting volunteers, to coming up with imaginative ways to engage local people to getting out and about to spread the word. Their enthusiasm and commitment is extraordinary and the impact they have through these activities is nothing short of life changing. Thank you to everyone who got involved again this year and good luck to all our finalists who so richly deserve this recognition.”

Click here for more information about this year's Spring Online campaign.