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AOL's Innovation Community Awards
By: MarkJ - 21 March, 2005 (1:07 PM)

ISP AOL UK has launched its third annual Innovation in the Community Awards, which is aimed at encouraging innovative use of the Internet. 30 award packages, each consisting of £2,000 and a complimentary Broadband Gold account for one year, are available:

Organisations applying for the awards since the scheme launched in 2003 include community centres, disability charities, environmental groups, health organisations and youth projects.

Representatives of organisations interested in applying for an AOL Innovation in the Community Award can find full details of the scheme and download an application form at http://www.aol.co.uk/innovation. Alternatively, they can request an application pack by emailing ukinnovation@aol.com or calling the awards hotline on 020 7348 8390.

The closing date for applications is 6 June 2005 and a judging panel will select the 30 award recipients by early August. AOL UK and Citizens Online will host an awards ceremony for the 30 winning organisations in London in Autumn 2005.

The AOL Innovation in the Community Awards have supported 60 projects since they launched in 2003, including a Web-based historical archive for Erskine care facility near Glasgow, an online environmental initiative run by the Forest Recycling Project in East London, and a crime prevention area on the Gloucester-based Brunswick Square Central Lawn Association community Web site. A full list of the 2003 and 2004 award recipients can be found at www.aol.co.uk/innovation.

Karen Thomson, Chairman and Chief Executive of AOL UK, commented: “The voluntary sector clearly recognises the potential of the Internet and the creativity and thought that goes into the award applications never fails to impress me. Charities and community groups are showing how online forums, video communications, broadband and other technologies can make a significant difference to people’s lives. It’s crucial that we support these grassroots projects and encourage digital inclusion across the UK.

"Winning the AOL award pushed us to go a bit further and we have already noticed what a huge difference the new-look Web site is making to the lives of our residents and the local community,” Sarah McNaught, Marketing Manager, Erskine – Bishopton, Scotland.

When we first started this project it was a simple case of ‘let’s get the Give or Take project online’. But now it’s a case of wanting to establish online versions of just about everything we do. The award has been a real catalyst and has really changed the way we do things for the better,” Lisa Donovan, Office Manager, Forest Recycling Project – Waltham Forest, London.

Best of luck to all those entering.

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