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Joy Matthews, a Welsh active-ager, finalist of the 2012 eInclusion awards

25/06/2012 Joy Matthews, a Welsh active-ager, finalist of the 2012 eInclusion awards

The European Commission handed out the 2012 eInclusion awards on June 22nd at the Digital Agenda Assembly which took place in Brussels.

One of the three finalists in the I am Part of IT small organisations/individuals category is Joy Matthews, a Welsh 75 years old retired medical secretary who is using digital technologies to make real changes and to “get involved with my local community and lobby on issues I am passionate about."

Through Caerphilly 50+ Forum, Joy found out about digital story making. She made a story about the ageism experienced by her husband and his suffering when he went into hospital for the last time. She scanned photos, recorded a story and edited this into the short film “Euthanasia is alive and well.”

Help the Aged saw the film and asked if they could use it as part of their campaign to lobby to include Age Discrimination in the Single Equalities Act. Joy was invited to the British Parliament to show her film to MPs. Following that, she did a number of media interviews for the national TV stations. It was a surprise to her that the film had so much impact – for her it was simply a chance to get something off her chest.

Since then, Joy has worked with the Caerphilly Youth Forum helping them develop their own digital stories, and with the Caerphilly 50+ Forum. She is planning to create more stories that Social Services can use to develop their services.

Running since 2008, the eInclusion awards were established by the European Commission in order to discover organisations and individuals across Europe who champion new technology and harness the potential of the Internet as a means of improving prospects, increasing employability and meeting today’s complex social and economic challenges.