For the past 7 years Age Action's Silver Surfer Awards has been raising awareness among older people of the benefits of being online and to encourage those who have not gone online to give it a try.
The awards recognise the achievements of older people using technology and also the volunteers who teach these skills. Retired science and chemistry teacher Margaret Mullett from Dublin was this year's winner of the overall Silver Surfer Award 2015.
Margaret was inspired to get online after she lost her husband, George, to a genetic disorder called haemochromatosis, an overload of iron in the system, just six weeks after being diagnosed. If identified early enough, haemochromatosis can be easily treated. Determined to ensure that no other family would suffer a loss like her own, Margaret used the internet and digital media to build a national awareness campaign, highlighting the dangers of haemochromatosis and urging members of the public to get tested. Since she began in 2005, her work has focused new attention on the illness and more than 20,000 people have been diagnosed.
Corkman Philip O’Donovan was the winner of the Golden IT Award, which recognises the achievements of people over the age of 80. Every morning, at 7.30am more than a 100 people in Ireland, the United States, Australia, the Netherlands and Britain wake to a ‘thought for the day’ email message from Philip. He has also used his computer to write a book about a local specialist school for children with complex disabilities, the Lavanagh Centre, and still does the taxes for family members and his local church.
The awards ceremony was hosted by Dublin City University, which became the first age-friendly university in 2012, leading a global initiative.
Thanks for your support which allows us to run computer classes for older people and run events like this which encourages older people to go online for the first time. Being able to use the internet can have a very positive impact in the lives of older people, giving independence, opening up a whole new world of information, entertainment and communication with family and friends. It can combat isolation and loneliness and transform people’s lives
To read more about the other winners see the link below