TalkTalk today launches the Digital Heroes Awards 2012, a unique competition that recognises and rewards people who are using technology to help their communities.
The awards, now in their fifth year, have provided funding and support to 49 organisations across Britain, including last year's overall winner Story Book Dads, a groundbreaking project that makes it possible for parents serving time in prison to keep in touch with their children by recording bedtime stories onto CDs or DVDs.
The awards, run in partnership with the Daily Mirror and charities Citizens Online and Go ON UK, aim to recognise inspirational people who use technology to benefit their local community. Twelve winners, one from each region of the UK – voted for by the public – will each get £5,000 to enhance their digital projects, with one overall winner getting £10,000.
This year there will be an additional category for children and young people, with a top prize of £4,000 for their chosen charity and an Apple MacBook Air.
The awards are now open for submissions at digitalheroes.talktalk.co.uk and the deadline for entries is September 14, 2012.
TalkTalk chairman Sir Charles Dunstone is on the judging panel that includes Martha Lane Fox, the UK’s Digital Champion, and Lloyd Embley, editor of the Daily Mirror and Sunday Mirror.
Commenting on the awards, Dido Harding, Chief Executive of TalkTalk, said: “Digital Heroes is the only competition of its kind, and each year attracts hundreds of nominations from people across the country. It has already made an enormous difference to dozens of important projects and I am delighted to be supporting it again this year."
In addition to the main awards, Martha Lane Fox will present a special award for the Young Digital Hero on behalf of Go ON UK, a charity she chairs which aims to make UK the world’s most digitally connected nation.
“It’s always inspiring to meet digital champions from communities across the UK, I look forward to the Digital Heroes Awards year after year.” says Martha Lane Fox. “At Go ON UK we’re pleased to get involved with an initiative that shines a light on the extraordinary things people can achieve through digital technology and I am excited that this year we have a new award that will recognise a young champion under 18 who has helped get people online.”
John Fisher, chief executive of Citizens Online, said: “The internet is an important part of daily life for an increasing number of Britons, especially children and young people, and it is important that it is made accessible to everybody. Digital Heroes has already helped dozens of important projects to change their communities for the better and we hope this year’s awards will inspire more people to think about how digital technology can benefit society.”
The Daily Mirror is supporting Digital Heroes for the third year running, and editor Lloyd Embley is enthusiastic about the role it plays: “We are delighted to be involved with the Digital Hereos Awards for a third successive year.
“There have been so many inspiring nominations over the last two years and we are expecting to be overwhelmed by the quality of nominations again this year.
“More and more people are using digital technology to benefit their local communities and the Daily Mirror is proud to celebrate and support these initiatives.”
You can find out more information on the awards and how to enter at digitalheroes.talktalk.co.uk. Entries are welcome until 14 September 2012.
The Twitter hashtag for the awards is #digitalheroes