Sixteen community groups and charities across the East of England 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, arts 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 the East of England. 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.
Dave Hughes, BT’s Eastern regional director, 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.”
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.
NOTE TO EDITORS:
A full list of all winners of the BT Community Connections Award in the East of England is below:
• 1st Abbots Langley Scout Group, Watford
• ACCM, Bedford
• Aspire Progression Centre - Leading Lives, Lowestoft
• Great Snoring Parish Council, Fakenham
• Heavenly Arts and Crafts Cafe (Part of Community Learning Partnership), Watford
• Highfild Community Association, Hemel Hempstead
• Mendlesham Internet Café, Stowmarket
• Riverside ECHG, Watford
• Steve Woolley Court Social Committee, Peterborough
• Survivors in Transition, Ipswich
• Sweetbriar Lane Social Club, Peterborough
• The Prospects Trust, Cambridge
• Thornham Village Hall and Playing Field Ltd, Hunstanton
• Tuckers Court Social Club, Peterborough
• Wicklewood Primary School, Norwich
• Wisbech Community Development Trust, Wisbech
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.
BT is one of the world’s leading providers of communications services and solutions, serving customers in more than 170 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to its customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband and internet products and services and converged fixed/mobile products and services. BT consists principally of four lines of business: BT Global Services, BT Retail, BT Wholesale and Openreach.
BT was the official communications services partner of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and helped to deliver the most connected Games ever. BT is supporting the British Paralympic Association all the way to the Rio Games in 2016.
In the year ended 31 March 2012, BT Group’s revenue was £18,897m with profit before taxation of £2,445m.
British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York.
For more information, visit www.btplc.com