By Alex Taylor
Last month, I attended the launch of the Technology4Good Awards as a NSPCC Young Ambassador for Disability. Hosted by AbilityNet, in partnership with BT, the awards celebrate the positive use of digital technologies to increase opportunity, independence and accessibility.
Held at the newly refurbished BT tower, Liz Williams, General Manager of Corporate Responsibility at BT, stated the launch signalled the beginning of a new nationwide search, intent on finding ‘an inspiring organisation that is supporting digital inclusion, by enabling and encouraging people to get online.
Now into their second year, the awards have already made a real impact. Lifelites, double winners in 2011, are a charity providing technology for children in hospices.
Simone Enefer-Doy, Chief Executive, paid testament to the transformative nature of the awards, ‘There’s no doubt about it, winning the awards has given new impetus to us and our work. In 2011 we were able to complete 17 projects, just to put that into context, the most we’d ever managed to achieve was 12. Financially, in these recession-hit times, we raised considerably more than we did in the previous year, so we have a lot to thank the Awards for.’
The increased recognition the award provided opened up many new opportunities for exposure. For instance, Lifelites became one of the first organisations to be featured on the Microsoft Bing search engine for 24 hours.
Sarah Foxall, Citizenship Manager at Microsoft, said the collaboration typified the drive toward ‘Supporting charities to utilise technology and increase accessibility.’
‘There is a strong connection between what AbilityNet and the Awards are trying to do and what Microsoft is trying to do. The awards help to showcase and highlight really great things people are doing with technology to make a difference and that’s half of the challenge.’
Excerpt of blog post originally written by Alex Taylor.
Alex Taylor is an NSPCC Young Ambassador for Disability
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