Google Silver Surfer Awards 2014 Nominations

Michael Gorman (87) from Sandymount won the Golden IT Award in 2013. Pic: Marc O'Sullivan

Michael Gorman (87) from Sandymount won the Golden IT Award in 2013.
Pic: Marc O’Sullivan

Do you know someone over the age of 55 who is a Silver Surfer?

Nominations for the Google Silver Surfer Awards 2014 are open until the 6th of October.

Stuart McLaughlin, Head of GooglersGive EMEA said, “The awards are about recognising the steps taken by older people in the digital world. Whether it’s connecting with loved ones on the other side of the world, arranging travel plans or using it to pay the bills, more and more of the over 50s in Ireland are taking to the online world and it’s important that this is encouraged. We truly are living in a digital age and it’s important that all ages are involved and that nobody gets left behind because it’s never too late to learn!”

There are five categories open for nominations: the Google Silver Surfer Award, which goes toward an older person who embraces the internet or technology with a sense of fun and adventure; the New to IT Award for a person over the age of 50 who has overcome challenges to become an IT user; Hobbies on the Net Award for one who uses the internet to pursue their hobbies and interests, or who uses IT for communication or social networking sites; IT Tutor(s) of the Year Award for an individual or group of any age who has provided voluntary support to older people learning to use IT; and the Golden IT Award, which goes to an IT user over the age of 80 who has used it to enhance their lives somehow.

Last year’s Google Silver Surfer winner, David Lowen’s love of the Beach Boys led him to stream music from Spotify, and he now uses the internet for shopping, banking and booking holidays. You can read a review of last year’s winners here.

The Awards are a collaboration between Google and Age Action Ireland. Age Action works with and alongside older people to improve services and policies for them, while promoting positive ageing. Their Getting Started Programme sees volunteers helping people over the age of 55 to become more comfortable with using email, the internet and IT. It runs not only from their Dublin, Cork and Galway offices, but also from sheltered in housing around Dublin city, in partnership with Dublin City Council. The teaching is done in classes, but on a one-to-one basis, and so Age Action are looking for additional volunteers to help out. If you would like to become involved, you can find out more on the Age Action website.

You can make your nomination online here, or by calling Anne Marie on (01) 475 6989. The awards ceremony to announce the winners will be held on the 20th of October in Google’s Dublin headquarters on Barrow Street.

By Aimée Mac Leod