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TalkTalk Digital Heroes awards opens

TalkTalk has opened its Digital Heroes awards, which aims to showcase small-scale projects that have a positive impact on people and the world

TalkTalk is on the hunt for Digital Heroes who will receive prizes of up to £10,000 to boost their projects.

The Digital Hero awards showcase small-scale projects that have an impact on others, whether through app development or teaching the elderly about technology.

Winners of the 2014 awards included a Raspberry Pi project in which a student taught computer science to schoolchildren, a developer who created an app to donate money to charity every time a user hit “snooze” on their alarm and an online community created to enable parents and carers of children with autism to share experiences.

There are 10 categories to enter, including the new category “internet safety”, in partnership with parenting advice platform Internet Matters.

Prizes up for grabs include £5,000 of funding to boost projects. The winner of the “next generation” special category will receive £4,000 for their chosen charity and a MacBook Air. The Digital Heroes will be honoured at the House of Commons and the overall winner will be awarded £10,000 prize money.

Dido Harding, chief executive of TalkTalk, said: “The internet is a huge force for good but there’s a long way to go, with more than 10 million people in the UK still lacking basic digital skills.

“We’re passionate about the power of the internet to improve communities and want to find Digital Heroes who will inspire and support others through technology.”

Winners of the Digital Heroes awards are decided by a public vote, with the overall winner chosen by a judging panel. This year’s panel includes TalkTalk chairman Charles Dunstone, Lastminute.com founder Martha Lane-Fox and Daily Mirror and Sunday Mirror editor-in-chief Lloyd Embley.

Martha Lane-Fox, who is also chair of digital skills charity Go On UK, said: “It is fantastic to see the Digital Heroes awards back again this year. I love hearing about the inspiring individuals and organisations who are using digital to make a real difference to people’s lives.

“At Go On UK we want everyone in the country to reach their digital potential, and it is initiatives like Digital Heroes that will help make this a reality.”

This is the eighth year TalkTalk has run the awards, in which it has given 87 projects a total of £500,000.

Entries are open until midnight 24 July 2015.

The 10 categories are:

  1. Employment: If you know someone who is trying to get people back to work, go ahead and let them be known.
  2. Healthy living: Technology has a bad reputation for getting people out of shape, so let’s give a high five to those using tech to kick Britain back into shape.
  3. Silver surfer: Technology is for everyone and this hero loves to show the older generation how to get the most from tech – from email to new messaging platforms like WhatsApp.
  4. Skills: Tutorials, workshops, one-on-one sessions, you name it, they do it. This hero believes that sharing is caring and won’t stop until their knowledge has been shared with everyone.
  5. Volunteer: This hero helps harness tech for good but not just for the money. It’s because they just believe in helping others. Let’s give them the boost they need to keep on doing it.
  6. Fundraising: Charities and fundraisers need all the help they can get. This hero uses technology to help them raise money through donations.
  7. Next generation: The next Facebook or Pinterest could be in the making right now, right next door to you. If you know a young internet self-starter with a great idea, let them be known.
  8. Education: Teachers and technology make the world go round, so how about the person who goes above and beyond to ensure no one is left behind.
  9. Sustainability: The environment is under attack and this hero believes technology can help save our planet.
  10. Internet safety: The internet can be a dangerous place and this hero is dedicated to helping children and young people navigate new technology and the internet in safety.

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