Google and Age Action on the hunt for Ireland’s top silver surfers

23 Jul 2012

Lucy Bell and Olive Kelleher pictured chatting with broadcaster George Hook at the launch of the 2012 Silver Surfer Awards at Google in Dublin this morning

Google and the charity Age Action Ireland have just launched their annual Silver Surfer Awards. It means that people can nominate a friend, neighbour or relative who is over 50 and who is embracing the internet.

The idea of the annual awards, now in their fourth year, according to Google and Age Action, is to highlight the difference technology can make in older people’s lives.

People can be nominated in five categories: Google Silver Surfer 2012 Award with Age Action; Most Dedicated IT Learner Award; Hobbies on the Net Award; IT Tutor(s) of the Year; and Golden IT Award. The latter is targeted at individuals over the age of 85 who use technology.

Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte, TD, launched the silver surfer awards this morning at Google’s EMEA HQ on Barrow Street.

Last year’s overall winner was 76-year-old Dubliner Dorothy Harrington. She received the award namely for selling her house online.

Speaking today, Harrington said that winning the award gave her even more confidence when using a computer.

“When you didn’t grow up using the internet it can seem a scary thing to try out but I found that it has opened up a whole new world to me, I would encourage everyone to nominate someone they know,” she said.

The web

In Ireland, Google runs programmes such as Age Engage and to help people become more internet savvy.

As for Age Action, the charity has helped train more than 12,000 older people to use computers over the last six years, according to CEO Robin Webster.

People can nominate someone for the Silver Surfer Awards by filling in a form online or by phoning Mark on 01 475 6989.

The closing date for nominations is 14 September and the overall winners will be announced on 2 October at Google’s Dublin base.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic