Encouraging UK charities and community groups to use the internet

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Community Awards
nnovation in the
                      Encouraging UK charities and community groups
                      to use the internet to support, connect and inspire

i                      In association with
                                                                              Innovation in the Community Awards 2008

                           e are very proud to once again support these
                           awards and we’ve received a record-breaking
                           number of applications this year, with over
                2,200 groups and charities all applying for investment in
                technological equipment and expertise to support
                their projects.

                We’ve heard some incredibly inspiring stories from
                projects that help children, the disadvantaged, people with
                disabilities, the environment and the socially excluded.

                Our judging was a tough but rewarding process, and
                eventually representatives from TalkTalk, Citizens Online,

                Microsoft and Age Concern agreed on the 30 winning

                My congratulations go to them all along with our thanks
                and encouragement to everyone who entered. We hope
                you all continue to keep up the excellent work and very
                much look forward to hearing from you again in 2009.

                Wendy Becker
                Managing Director
                                                                                Innovation in the Community Awards 2008

                       imed at charities, community and voluntary groups,
                       the TalkTalk Innovation in the Community Awards
                       seek to reach people who are currently excluded
                from the many benefits that digital technology brings.

                As technology becomes an increasingly important part
                of our lives, the need to engage with mobile phones,
                digital televisions, computers and the internet is becoming
                more of a necessity. However, there is a proportion of the
                population that is missing out because they do not engage
                with these useful, life-enhancing tools.

                Community-based organisations are in close contact with

                local people and know what needs to be done but they
                need the resources to help them do the work. By receiving
                a TalkTalk award they can provide exciting and innovative
                ways for people to learn and prosper by using digital
                technologies, and inspire individuals to start their own
                digital journeys.

                Citizens Online is delighted, once again, to be partnering
                with TalkTalk to deliver this awards scheme and support
                grassroots initiatives, instilling local communities with the
                confidence, skills and resources to use these technologies
                most of us take for granted.

                John Fisher
                Chief executive
                Citizens Online
                                                                                Innovation in the Community Awards 2008

                    t was a great privilege to be part of the TalkTalk awards
                    – I have been amazed at the variety and scope of the
                    projects entered. As you can imagine, the judging was
                quite heated but one thing shone through all the shortlisted
                entries – their passion. As someone who has been lucky
                enough to start my own businesses, I know the hard work
                and focus that is needed to make an idea successful - I
                am delighted that the winners will get recognition for their
                dedication and risk taking, without which the world would
                be a much less inspiring place!

                Martha Lane-Fox
                Dotcom entrepreneur and

                founder of
                                                                                       Innovation in the Community Awards 2008

               Creativity and Culture
               PhotoVoice                                      Street Level Photoworks
               is an international charity that aims to bring about positive social        aims to make photography and lens-based media accessible to
               change for marginalised communities, by providing photographic              a wide audience. It has delivered photographic exhibitions and
               training for participants to express themselves and generate income.        outreach projects in Glasgow for nearly 20 years, and will use its
               It will use its award to set up long-term projects to train 50 young        award to develop downloadable podcasts, which will act as audio
               people from disadvantaged groups in photojournalism skills, and             guides to its exhibitions, along with downloadable teachers’ notes.
               provide them with equipment to begin taking their own pictures.
                                                                                           The RSPB                                   
               Somerset Film                                is the largest wildlife conservation charity in Europe. Its project will
               is an international charity that aims to bring about positive social        use video-conferencing to allow schools in Scotland and Pakistan to
               change for marginalised communities, by providing photographic              contact each other and share experiences about their native birds
               training for participants to express themselves and generate income.        of prey, learning about each others’ cultures as well as their natural
               It will use its award to set up long-term projects to train 50 young        environments.
2008 Winners

               people from disadvantaged groups in photojournalism skills, and
               provide them with equipment to begin taking their own pictures.             StreetVibes Youth              
                                                                                           is a London-based urban arts organisation that specialises in
               Bankie Talk                                     alternative educational activities for socially excluded and
               is a talking newspaper for blind people, based in Clydebank near            disadvantaged young people. It will set up an online hub where
               Glasgow. It organises students from local schools to read and record        young people can trade self-produced music, animations, web,
               articles from newspapers and a range of topical magazines, so that          video and art files, securely and responsibly.
               visually impaired people of all ages have a choice of interesting
               topics to download and listen to. With the award, it will extend its
               work and update its equipment, to ensure even more people can
               benefit from its service.
               delivers IT and music-based workshops to rural areas of Cumbria
               via its ‘Digital Arts’ van. It will use the award to fund its mobile
               broadband access for a further two years, ensuring even more
               isolated communities can benefit from internet access and develop
               digital skills.
                                                                                            Innovation in the Community Awards 2008

               Play and Sport
               Mighty Maiden All-Star Cougars                       www.c-allstars.             Making People Happy
      is a north London group for children and young people aged 5               aims to improve the physical and mental health of vulnerable elderly
               to 18, teaching gymnastics, dance, stunting and cheerleading. They               groups in the Black Country. It will run workshops at residential
               regularly compete in national and international tournaments, and will            and nursing homes using Wii consoles, encouraging hundreds of
               use the award to buy software for producing and mixing music for                 disabled residents to exercise and engage with technology.
               their routines.
                                                                                                Welsh Sailing Venture     
               Street League                                    offers sailing trips for disabled people off the Pembrokeshire coast.
               is a nationwide charity using football as a means of getting                     It attracts hundreds of people each season from across south and
               disadvantaged people into work and education. Participants in its                west Wales and provides the opportunity for disabled people to try
               training sessions and competitive football leagues, also complete                new activities and build their self-confidence. It will purchase a wifi-
               sports-themed modules in CV- writing, job searching and personal                 enabled laptop and special software, so that more severely disabled
               development. It will redevelop its website to create a social                    passengers can assist in the navigation of the boat.
2008 Winners

               networking facility for site users, and increase the uptake of IT
               adapts and develops digital technologies for young people with
               disabilities – for instance, where a young person cannot control their
               limbs, introducing eye-controlled technology to operate gadgets and
               machines. It will put its grant towards developing the world’s first fully
               accessible computer gaming suite at a children’s hospice in Oxford.
                                                                                         Innovation in the Community Awards 2008

               Work and Training                                                                       
                                                                                             supplies a free software tool called ‘Thunder’ which enables blind
               Aspire                                             and partially-sighted people to use the internet. Over 100,000
               helps people with spinal cord injuries to access computers through            people have downloaded the programme since 2006, and the
               specialist equipment in hospitals and at home. The grant will go              charity is going from strength to strength. To increase their training
               towards helping even more people get online, however severe                   resources, the award will be used to create online videos that will act
               their injuries.                                                               as training guides.
               Cambridge Online                          209 Radio                               
               works to facilitate internet access for disabled people throughout the        is a successful community radio station, broadcasting a wide and
               Cambridge area. Disabled volunteers will be trained to become IT              diverse range of programmes to their local area in Cambridge and
               trainers, and this will open up the internet to many more disabled            beyond. Their innovative programme schedule even includes a
               people locally, many of whom would otherwise have remained                    magazine show, made for and by homeless people. They are very
               digitally excluded.                                                           keen to upgrade their existing ICT facilities to deliver an even stronger
                                                                                             schedule, and are also hoping to provide training for members of the
2008 Winners

               Unique Social Enterprise
               is an award-winning initiative, aiming to reduce anti- social                 community, who want to get involved with the station.
               behaviour and improve community relations in the Newark area                  Live IT Sidekicks        
               of Nottinghamshire. They help to make young people more                       is a partnership between Midlothian Council Library and the Volunteer
               employable and give them somewhere to enjoy their free time.                  Centre Midlothian, which provides IT skills training to people of all
               They want to develop the Unique Work-X accredited work                        ages and abilities. All tutors are volunteers with a mission to close the
               experience course, which emphasises e-business skills, with a view            digital divide and open the internet up to everyone. They are planning
               to giving unqualified youngsters a better start in the jobs market.           to start a new service aimed at people who are housebound, to
               UCanDoIT                                         ensure that these people are no longer digitally excluded.
               trains blind, deaf and disabled people how to use a computer and
               access the internet in one-to-one sessions in their own homes. They
               promote independent living and try to help their client groups to cross
               the digital divide. They are looking to increase their provision of IT
               tuition to blind people in the Birmingham area.
                                                                                           Innovation in the Community Awards 2008

               Body and Soul
               Ian Rennie Hospice at Home                               eQuliaty Networks          
               cares for children and adults with terminal illness in their own homes          specialises in research and training, focusing on black and minority
               in the Chilterns area of Bucks and Herts. Last year they cared for              ethnic groups in the population. They are currently developing a
               867 patients, supporting their families before and after bereavement.           service to help survivors of forced marriage in Luton. An online
               The award will help to equip some nurses with the latest in mobile              network would provide a secure forum for victims to share stories
               digital technology, allowing them to take and access medical notes,             and receive online advice from trainers.
               whenever they need to and wherever they are..
                                                                                               Chestnut Tree House      
               Penny Brohn Cancer Care                   is a children’s hospice in Sussex providing specialist palliative,
               based in Bristol, provides complementary care, support and therapy              respite and end-of-life care to children, and support for their families.
               to people with cancer and their loved ones, helping them to manage              They provide a home-from-home atmosphere, where children
               the fear and devastation a cancer diagnosis brings. Funding                     can enjoy everyday situations. Two laptops will be used by the
               from organising various running events makes up a large part of                 Community Nurses, who visit children to provide respite care, when
2008 Winners

               their income. They aim to create a specific runners’ area on their              they are well enough to be at home with their families. The laptops
               website with blogs, forums, coaching and a Map Your Run tool. It is             will allow the Nurses to engage with the children through internet-
               hoped that this facility will encourage more runners to support the             based learning and play activities.
               is a national charity for people living with aphasia (a communication
               disability), helping them to achieve a better quality of life. The Access
               to Life project in Cornwall is supported by “hubs” of people with
               aphasia, and webcam technology purchased with the award will
               improve communication between the groups.
               Epilepsy Action                         
               is the largest member-led epilepsy organisation in Britain, acting
               as the voice of the UK’s half-million people with epilepsy as well as
               their friends, families and health professionals. They aim to build a
               new interactive children and young person’s section of the website,
               providing information to break down the fear and stigma associated
               with epilepsy. The site will be interactive with message boards, news,
               polls and video.
                                                                                         Innovation in the Community Awards 2008

               Learning and Knowledge
               Disabled Holiday Information                   Bullying UK                              
               provides free information for people with disabilities about the              believes that every child has the right to live in a world free from
               accessibility provision of events, accommodation and places to visit.         intimidation and every family deserves the fullest support in tackling
               All information is researched and compiled by volunteer researchers           bullying. Their objective is to ensure that every school and education
               who themselves have disabilities. A new content management                    professional is aware of the guidance and tools they can access.
               interface is required for the central database, so that more volunteers       The award will fund new characters in their online Click, Create
               can generate and upload their own content, writing about their                and Print facility, which allows children to design and produce anti-
               experiences and adding to the useful information available that helps         bullying posters
               other site visitors to plan their outings and holidays.
                                                                                             The Connection at St Martin’s
               Deaf Parenting UK                                                  
               is a unique charity run by deaf parents for deaf parents, aiming to           provides specialist support to homeless people in central London.
               give confidence and the necessary support and information. As                 The internet plays an integral part in their Careers Advice service,
2008 Winners

               well as upgrading the current website to allow for users to share             delivered through drop-in sessions by trained advisors. The Job
               experiences, webcam and videocam technology will be installed                 Search Interface was designed in-house by an ex-homeless
               to allow for faster live chat communication and emailing of sign              client, but needs updating and improving. A user workshop will be
               language messages.                                                            run to explore what is needed, and its recommendations will be
                                                                                             incorporated into the new Interface using the award fund.
               BRfm Communty Radio                        
               based in Blaenau Gwent, South Wales, provides a local and
               inclusive radio service for residents in one of the most socially
               deprived areas in the region. Participation and learning are
               encouraged, through volunteering and by partnering with local
               training and education providers. With the future of TV and radio
               being internet-based, the station needs to upgrade its internet and
               computer capabilities.
                                                                                                        Innovation in the Community Awards 2008

                               Mobile homes
                               Most parents take it for granted that their           Now they can record the details once –
                               children will long outlive them, but an               straight on to the laptop in the company of the
                               unfortunate few have to come to terms with            family – which frees up valuable nursing time.”
                               the fact that their child’s life will be cut short.
                                                                                     The new laptops will also provide nurses with
                               Chestnut Tree House is a children’s hospice           mobile access to a child’s case and condition
                               in Sussex that provides a safe haven where            notes. So if difficult questions are raised in the
         Chestnut Tree House

                               life-limited children and their families can          home – for example on a child’s medication
                               relax, recuperate and spend some quality time         needs – they will be better equipped to
                               together.                                             answer queries there and then.

                               However, it is Chestnut Tree House’s                  Finally, the cost of caring for a sick child
                               important and growing work outside the                means many families supported by Chestnut
                               hospice and in the community that will really         Tree House can’t afford to have a computer
                               benefit from the Innovation in the Community          or the internet at home. Equipping community
Case Study

                               grant, as Andy Perry, Trusts Fundraiser at            nurses with laptops will enable them to
                               Chestnut Tree House, explains:                        bring the endless possibilities of the internet
                                                                                     into the home – whether it be helping them
                               “The funding will enable Chestnut Tree House          to research their homework, search for
                               to arm our community nurses with two high             information on their hobbies and interests or
                               spec tablet-style laptop computers. These will        simply to play games.
                               radically improve the services we can deliver
                               to children and families in their homes.

                               “The laptops will enable our nurses to spend
                               more time caring and less time administrating.
                               Until now they’ve had to re-enter their paper-
                               based visit notes onto an IT system back at
                               Chestnut Tree House.
                                                                                                           Innovation in the Community Awards 2008

                                     Training homeless people for a                      “Our computers are essential for us to offer
                                                                                         online job searching and training,” says Bill
                                     brighter future
                                                                                         Williams from the charity. “Nowadays so many
                                     When told about a charity that helps homeless       employment opportunities and courses are
         Connection at St Martin’s

                                     people get off the streets, you might be            online that, without them, we wouldn’t be able
                                     forgiven for imagining an old-fashioned shelter     to provide a first-rate service.”
                                     that provides food and warmth, but little else.
                                                                                         The computers’ bespoke job search interface
                                     The Connection at St Martin-in-the-Fields           is proof of the charity’s success – it was
                                     project, based in central London, is much           actually designed by an ex-homeless user
                                     more than this, though. Its employment              of the project. And last year 40 project
                                     training and education services team runs           users achieved permanent employment, 75
                                     programmes that provide tailored careers            progressed into further education or training,
                                     guidance, job search and accredited training        and 100 undertook fully accredited IT and
                                     courses to homeless people looking to find          basic skills training courses.
                                     work, aiming to get them off the streets and
                                     into mainstream society.                            Bill Williams says: “We have 20 computers
Case Study

                                                                                         that need to be maintained and our unique IT
                                     When they start, all visitors to Connection         system needs to be constantly updated with
                                     at St Martin’s chat with a qualified Careers        links to the latest job sites and adverts. The
                                     Adviser to agree a personal Action Plan,            Innovation in the Community award will go
                                     ensuring they have a goal to reach.                 towards that cost, ensuring we can continue –
                                                                                         and extend – our work with homeless people
                                     A range of schemes are offered to help them         in London.”
                                     achieve this, including guidance on CV writing
                                     and interview skills, and a daily drop-in service
                                     encourages users to search online for the
                                     latest jobs or training courses.
                                                                                            Innovation in the Community Awards 2008

                      Bridging the digital divide in                     needed internet access continues for another
                                                                         two years at least.”
                      rural Cumbria
                      Music has always been known for its ability        The van is a catalyst for the community
                      to bring people together, which is why             providing site specific workshops teaching
                      MusicLinks is such an essential service for the    music (recording, jingles, film scores), film
                      people living in Cumbria’s rural areas.            editing and internet based research.

                      Amongst the services MusicLinks provides is        Director of MusicLinks, Andrew Halsey,
                      a Digital Arts Van which offers a self-contained   continues: “The van enables disadvantaged
                      IT workspace for these isolated communities.       people to study music software and create
                      The van is fully equipped with state of the art    projects about the history of their community
                      multimedia technology and satellite internet       by writing songs about their life stories or
                      access.                                            events that have happened to them.

                      The Innovation in the Community grant, as          “This is all then shared with neighbouring
                      Andrew Halsey from MusicLinks explains,            communities across Cumbria, giving them
Case Study

                      will keep a vital element of the charity’s work    a sense of unity. Because we now have
                      going.                                             the funding for the internet access we can
                                                                         continue to travel throughout the county,
                      “We work in very rural areas where people          targeting areas beyond the reach of local

                      often feel isolated and cut off. Often there are   statutory bodies and other service providers to
                      no buses, no shops and very few schools.           bring people together.”
                      The Digital Arts Van brings these communities
                      together and the internet allows us to support
                      social networks and share experiences and
                      ideas. People get excited when they see the
                      van, it’s like the ice cream man coming round!

                      “Without this funding we would have struggled
                      to keep online support for rural communities
                      going in 2009, but thanks to the grant from
                      TalkTalk we can now ensure that much
                                                                                                   Innovation in the Community Awards 2008

                            Twenty-first century braille                        business from home.”
                            In 1821 Louis Braille invented his system that
                                                                                So far, over 100,000 people have downloaded
                            has gone on to improve the lives of millions
                                                                                Thunder, a figure that’s growing by the
                            of blind people. But now, with the written
                                                                                day. In fact, in just two years Thunder has
                            word increasingly being replaced by digital
                                                                                become the most widely used screen
                            communications, blind people are increasingly
                                                                                reading technology in the world, and now the
                            at risk of being left behind in our digital age.
                                                                                Innovation in the Community Award will help
                                                                                ensure that users are realising its potential, as
                            It’s’s mission to
                                                                                Roger explains:
                            follow in Braille’s footsteps and create a
                            communication system that makes a huge
                                                                                “The Innovation in the Community Award
                            difference to the lives of today’s blind and
                                                                                will enable us to create training videos that
                            partially sighted people.

                                                                                can be watched by partners, grandchildren,
                                                                                neighbours or carers so that they can ensure
                   was founded in 2006 by
                                                                                the person using the software is using it
                            husband and wife team Roger and Margaret
                                                                                correctly and getting the most out of it.“
Case Study

                            Wilson-Hinds. Together they created a
                            software tool called Thunder for the blind and
                            partially sighted that literally speaks to users,
                            talking them through what is on the screen
                            and helping them use a computer and the
                            internet. The software is completely free to
                            download and use.

                            Roger explains: “We created Thunder to make
                            the internet accessible for blind and partially
                            sighted people – many of whom do not have
                            the financial resources to download expensive
                            software or purchase specialist computers.
                            The tool empowers them and helps them with
                            everything from writing an email and surfing
                            the net to applying for a job or running a
                                                                                                      Innovation in the Community Awards 2008

                                 Sailing with confidence
                                                                                    “We find the sailing trips help build people’s
                                 Sea Legs is a 31 foot catamaran, berthed
                                                                                    confidence,” says Julie. “It’s a new approach
                                 at Neyland Marina, in the beautiful
                                                                                    to learning – we encourage them to show us
                                 Pembrokeshire National Coastal Park. But
                                                                                    what they can do, not what they can’t. And
                                 what’s truly special about this particular
                                                                                    because it’s such a different environment, it
                                 vessel is that it enables 300 disabled people
                                                                                    provides them with an escape from their usual
                                 to experience the exhilaration of a sailing trip
                                                                                    surroundings and encourages them to try
         Welsh Sailing Venture

                                 every year.
                                                                                    other challenging activities in future too.”
                                 Julie Berrow , from Welsh Sailing Venture,
                                                                                    Welsh Sailing Venture’s prize will be spent on
                                 the charity that runs Sea Legs, said:: “We’re
                                                                                    a wifi-enabled laptop for the boat, providing
                                 extremely popular – we’re the only charity
                                                                                    access to up-to-the-minute weather and
                                 of our kind in South and West Wales and
                                                                                    satellite information, enabling the more
                                 we attract people from all over the region,
                                                                                    severely disabled passengers to get more
                                 even from Cardiff, two hours’ drive away. Our
                                                                                    involved with the boat’s navigation.
                                 season lasts from March to October and we’ll
Case Study

                                 run trips for a minimum of five days a week
                                 during that period.”

                                 Each trip lasts around six hours and takes six
                                 passengers plus two volunteer crew. Since
                                 1997 the charity has offered over 3,000 sailing
                                 places – and travelled over 15,000 sea miles
                                 – giving disabled people an opportunity for
                                 experience sailing, usually for the first time.

                                 Sea Legs can accommodate people with
                                 most disabilities. Those with relatively minor
                                 disabilities are encouraged to get involved
                                 with the sailing and steering of the boat, while
                                 those with more serious disabilities can help
                                 with the navigation and checking charts.
                                                                                       Innovation in the Community Awards 2008

                   2007 Winners
                   Action for Blind People        LifeCycle UK                
                   Alzheimer Scotland                          MOTIV                            
                   Beat                                           New Writing South        
                   Blackpool Tiggers                   Northern Seams           
                   Burnage Against Discrimination             Qirv Pos (OnDaBlock)         
Previous Winners

                   Cause                                         Rockwool Woodland for Learning
                   Council for British Archaeology             The Shire Initiative      
                   Dearne Valley Venture Ltd        Thrive                          
                   Dfuse Citizen Training                        Tower Hamlets Summer University
                   Dhiverse                                   Toonspeak Young People’s Theatre
                   Dundee Womens Aid                                  
                   Everton Development Trust                       Woodlands MS Resource and   
                   Frontline AV                               Respite Care Centre
                   Gem Training                      
                   Horden and Easington Colliery Regeneration
                   Kidz Aware                        
                   Laura Crane Trust              

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