Focus: Corporate Responsibility - Side by side - BT and Age Concern England

Age Concern England began working with BT in summer 2005 in a three-year deal worth £240,000.

BT supported Silver Surfer Week in May as part of its project to transform Age Concern branches in the UK into a 150-strong network of Silver Surfer Clubs, which provide internet training for the over-50s

JENNIE LAVIN, corporate partnerships account manager, Age Concern England

Why did you choose this partnership?

We're committed to the digital inclusion of older people, and BT saw the benefits of a project to help older people to an online life.

How do you benefit?

The funding will allow us to build a robust network of Silver Surfer Clubs. The partnership is a perfect fit with our aim of being the leading authority on the digital inclusion of older people in the UK.

Did you have any reservations?

No. We are a great match and are both committed to helping older people enjoy the benefits of being online.

What are your plans for the partnership?

Although this is a three-year partnership, we are already considering expanding the training and guidance that is available.

MIKE HUGHES, head of digital inclusion, BT

Why did you choose this partnership?

Tackling the digital divide has been a core part of our corporate social responsibility strategy since 2002. BT has a long history of supporting the communications requirements of older and disabled people.

How do you benefit?

We firmly believe digital technologies can improve people's lives. As a communications company, BT has a responsibility to prevent people being left behind by the digital revolution.

Did you have any reservations?

No.

What are your plans for the partnership?

As well as the link-up we announced in 2005, we're also giving grants of up to £3,500 a year to Age Concern branches across the UK, in partnership with Microsoft and Intel. These will create opportunities for older people to engage with technology.

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