National award for Digital Gwynedd volunteer
A volunteer who is part of the Digital Gwynedd scheme has won the ‘Digital Volunteer’ category at the Wales Volunteer of the Year Awards 2018.
Martin Hunt, from Aberdesach won the award for his role as a Digital Champion. He holds drop in sessions at Penygroes Library every Friday between 1pm and 3pm. He also goes the extra mile by arranging sessions on alternative dates should any customer not be able to attend on a Friday.
The Digital Gwynedd scheme helps local people and businesses to use the internet, and is operated by Citizens Online in partnership with Gwynedd Council.
Free sessions are available to enable people to improve their online and IT skills, and they work together with various other organisations to co-ordinate digital inclusion activities.
Martin said: “I have been a volunteer in some capacity or other for over 50 years. Since I became unable to work, I have been in serious danger of isolation but the opportunities given by this particular role have been a lifesaver.
“I firmly believe that if you can possibly help someone, you always should, but for the first time I am very aware about how much it is helping me by being a volunteer.
“I had to give up a different volunteering role because of health issues, but they do not seem to matter in this role. I am very grateful that this award recognises the work being done by Gwynedd Council through Digital Gwynedd and I hope that it will encourage others who are less confident in their IT skills to come and get help and support entirely free of charge.”
Daniel Richards, from Citizens Online, who nominated Martin for the award added: “Martin is a very able and knowledgeable Digital Champion who has worked on a number of digital projects in the past.
“In a tight knit community like Penygroes, having an asset like Martin available is a tremendous boon. He has a special ability of being able to explain technical details in a language that people understand.”
Councillor Craig ab Iago, Gwynedd Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing, Leisure and Culture stated: “Many congratulations to Martin for winning this national award. It is a perfect example of the ethos of Digital Gwynedd, in that we need a Digital Champion in the heart of the community to provide long-term support to residents to make the most of what the latest technology has to offer.
“As well as helping people to use the internet, information is also provided so that residents are able to make the most of the Council’s online services too – such as applying for housing benefits, paying council tax, ordering recycling bins or booking a fitness session at your local leisure centre and much more. It’s all available at the touch of a button.”
For more information on Digital Gwynedd, visit https://www.digitalgwynedd.wales/
PHOTOGRAPH: Martin Hunt who has won a Wales-wide aware for his work as a Gwynedd Digital Champion at work