• Entries are open for this year’s heroes to claim thousands of pounds for projects
  • Exciting new categories introduced
  • Clare Sutcliffe, UK’s 2012 Digital Hero, joins judging panel

TalkTalk launches its annual search to find and reward Britain’s Digital Heroes. The TalkTalk Digital Heroes Awards is a unique countrywide scheme that recognises inspirational people who are using technology to benefit their local community and bring about positive social change.

The award programme sits at the heart of the TalkTalk Digital Heroes Foundation which works to make Britain better off through the positive use of technology; be it campaigning to get more people online, or seeking out little and local digital projects that make a real difference to their community but are all too often overlooked. The awards, now in their seventh year, have already provided funding to the tune of nearly half a million pounds to 78 projects across Britain. They are run in partnership with the charities Citizens Online and Go ON UK, which aims to make the UK the world's most digitally skilled nation.

Entrants can nominate themselves or nominate someone who is making a difference through the use of digital. It takes less than 10 minutes to enter, simply visit http://digitalheroes.talktalk.co.uk/enter-now/
 
This year, eight exciting new categories have been introduced with the Young Digital Hero title being revamped as The Next Generation Digital Hero: 

  • Employment Digital Hero: Most likely to get Britain back to work
  • Healthy Living Digital Hero: Most likely to get their community into shape
  • Silver Surfer Digital Hero: Most likely to prove age is no barrier
  • Skills Digital Hero: Most likely to share their skills
  • Volunteering Digital Hero: Most likely to give something back
  • Fundraising Digital Hero: Most likely to inspire digital donation
  • Next Generation Digital Hero: Most likely to be the next Mark Zuckerberg
  • Training Digital Hero: Most likely to train an army of digital heroes
  • Sustainability Digital Hero: Most likely to use technology to save the planet

The eight winners, who will be decided by public vote, will each receive £5,000 to enhance their digital project, with one overall winner chosen by an expert judging panel receiving £10,000.

The Next Generation Digital Hero remains a special category, which recognises the amazing talent shown by young people in the world of digital. One such person who has been instrumental in inspiring young people to fulfill their digital potential is Clare Sutcliffe, Co-founder and CEO of Code Club and winner of the TalkTalk Digital Heroes Award in 2012. Clare won the award for her outstanding work teaching school children how to code to equip them for the digital skills they’ll need for the future. Clare used her Digital Hero funding towards launching CodeClub Pro to help train primary school teachers in readiness for the new Computing Curriculum.

This year Digital Hero Clare will be joining the judging panel of TalkTalk chairman Sir Charles Dunstone, Baroness Lane-Fox, Chair of Go ON UK and Lloyd Embley, Editor-in-Chief of the Daily Mirror and Sunday Mirror.

Commenting on the awards, Dido Harding, Chief Executive of TalkTalk, said: “At TalkTalk we know that it's not just about the money. We founded the TalkTalk Digital Heroes Foundation because we believe that the internet can truly make Britain better off. Our annual Digital Heroes Awards are at the heart of this and each year attract hundreds of deserving nominations. We are proud to have provided funding and support to so many Digital Heroes across the country who are working tirelessly to benefit their local community and look forward to seeing who this year's heroes are." 

New judge, Clare Sutcliffe adds: “It’s an absolute pleasure to be invited to join the judging panel this year.  Winning the Digital Heroes Awards in 2012 has given me first-hand experience of just how much difference these awards can make to important projects. The awareness and financial support offered is vital to taking small local projects to the next level.”

Returning judge, Baroness Lane-Fox, Chair Go ON UK adds: “I’m always humbled by the amazing heroes that shine at the awards. It is a rare platform for them to have their work recognised, championed and supported. The projects take all shapes and sizes but are united by their vision to use technology for good and spearhead digital skills within communities across the UK.”

Find out more information on the awards and how to enter at http://digitalheroes.talktalk.co.uk/. Entries are welcome until 25 July 2014.

The Twitter hashtag for the awards is #digitalheroes