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BT gets nine community groups online in Yorkshire and Humber

Press Release   •   Oct 17, 2012 00:00 BST

Nine community groups and charities across Yorkshire and Humber have been given a boost by BT in helping to get more local people online. 

The BT Community Connections award scheme rewards organisations which are tackling the digital divide by offering them one year’s free internet connection.

The latest winning organisations in the region include silver surfers, cultural groups, family support groups, sports groups and youth clubs. A full list of the regional winners is at the end of this news release.

Not only will the award enable many of these organisations to surf the internet for the first time, it will also allow them to create positive social change in their communities by helping people in the wider community to learn from them and discover new skills.

The BT scheme has helped to connect over 7,500 UK organisations to the internet since it was launched in 2000, including over six hundred in Yorkshire and Humber. While many people take access to digital technology for granted there are still 7.8 million people in the UK who have never used the internet.

John Anderson, BT’s regional director in Yorkshire and the Humber, said: “Community Connections helps many people, who often live in disadvantaged areas, to get online and experience the wide range of advantages that the internet has to offer.”

BT’s Community Connections scheme directly addresses the lack of internet access amongst community groups in the UK and is part of BT’s Get It Together programme, which aims to instil confidence and empower people to get online. Individuals who have never used the internet are at risk of missing out on access to vital resources, such as educational materials, important medical information and financial advice, which are rapidly moving online.

Office for National Statistics, page 5. “Internet Access Quarterly Update 2012 Q2.”
http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/rdit2/internet-access-quarterly-update/2012-q2/stb-internet-access-2012-q2.html
Accessed Friday 12 October 2012


Simon Paul, community investment manager at BT, said: “Connecting people is at the heart of BT and so it is important for us to address this digital divide. The internet can make a staggering difference to people’s lives whether it is helping them stay in touch with friends and family, finding a job or offering them new leisure and educational opportunities.”
To find out more about the BT Community Connections awards scheme simply call 0845 257 6792 or log on to http://www.bt.com.communityconnections.

ENDS
NOTE TO EDITORS:
A full list of all winners of the BT Community Connections Award in Yorkshire and Humber is below:
• Bens Centre, Sheffield
• Big Ambitions CIC, Doncaster
• Creative Pathways, Sheffield
• Headway Rotherham, Rotherham
• Joshua Project Ltd, Bradford
• New Lodge Community Centre Management Group, Barnsley
• PTC Sports Community Trust Ltd, Rotherham
• Rossington Miners Welfare Scheme, Doncaster
• Savile Court, Dewsbury

For further information please contact the BT Community Connections Press Office on 0845 257 6792 or the regional BT press office on 0800 085 0660.

BT Community Connections
• The award scheme is targeted at community and charitable groups in areas of deprivation with little or no internet connection.
• This year sees over 200 community and voluntary groups winning the award in the UK.
• The BTCC award is 12 months’ free Total Business Broadband or Infinity connection.

BT's Digital Inclusion Heritage
BT is at the heart of digital communications, whether that is providing superfast broadband or helping to tackle digital exclusion. It is committed to making a positive difference to society and, by providing ICT and related services, believes it can make a tangible difference to communities that find themselves on the wrong side of the digital divide.

BT has been helping people to get online since 2002 by bringing the benefits of ICT to disadvantaged communities across the UK. Each year it invests at least one per cent of its annual pre-tax profits in programmes which benefit society and the environment. Last year, BT invested £31.9 million in programmes which ranged from supporting BT volunteers working in schools and community organisations to helping disadvantaged children in India escape poverty and become part of the digital society.

BT’s Get IT Together programme is all about instilling confidence and empowering people to get online - making the most of what the internet has to offer.