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AOL UK lines up for Net-related awards scheme

Community groups could get £2,000 for e-stuff

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AOL UK has teamed up with independent charity Citizens Online to launch a new national awards scheme to help community groups across the UK make the most of being online.

Fifteen groups have the chance to receive £2,000 each - plus a year's free subscription to AOL - to help them make the most of being online.

The AOL Innovation in the Community Awards are open to community groups working with children, people with disabilities, or the elderly. The funds can be used for anything in connection with the Internet.

For instance, the cash could be used to fund the acquisition of new computer equipment or Net-related training courses. Alternatively, it could be used to beef up security for a group that already has computer equipment and Net access.

Said Karen Thomson, CEO of AOL UK, in a statement: "We want to help local communities make the most of the online world.

"A youth club might need specialist equipment to help everyone in the club enjoy the Internet, a parents' group might want to improve security for its existing IT equipment, or a Web course might benefit from a local marketing campaign - as long as the project is non-commercial and involves the Internet in some way, we would encourage community groups to apply for an AOL Innovation in the Community Award," she said.

Applications for the award must be submitted by June 6. Full details, plus an application pack, are available from aol.co.uk/innovation or citizensonline.org.uk/aolawards. ®

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