Theatre web site wins award

KIRSTEN DOWNER

Polka Theatre for Children, a charity running the UK's only theatre staging work exclusively for children, has won the national voluntary sector category in the E-Commerce Awards 2002.

The charity has been using its web site (www.polkatheatre.com) to create links between classes of schoolchildren in London and Los Angeles, developing a play and learning about each other's communities over the internet.

The E-Commerce Awards, set up to reward small- and medium-sized organisations for innovative use of the internet, have been running for the past four years, but this is the first year a specific voluntary- and community-sector category has been included, sponsored by the Active Community Unit.

Polka Theatre for Children beat 12 other regional finalist organisations including the Woodland Trust, Bullying Online and the Mission to seafarers, to win £8,000.

The judges praised the charity for its innovative use of technology, its provision of a safe virtual meeting place for children and the opportunity it gave for children from diverse communities and different countries to work together.

The awards are open to organisations with fewer than 250 employees, based in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, including public bodies, registered charities and not-for-profit groups.

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