Representatives of the U3A movement were invited to attend the launch of the new iDEA Silver Award at St James Palace. The Silver Award is next difficulty level up in The Duke of York’s Digital Awards Scheme, it follows the Bronze award which launched last year

U3A has partnered with this free scheme, which aims to bridge the digital and enterprise skills gap. The iDEA programme sets out a series of badges in key areas including Citizen, Worker, Maker and Entrepreneur.

Wales Trustee Chris Winner says “It was good to hear The Duke of York lay out his vision for the scheme which has already exceeded its initial targets for engaging with users.

“It was also good to meet with and listen to representatives from the wide variety of partners and current users of iDEA. Among them were school children, army cadets, town councils, small businesses as well as charitable organisations. They all spoke about how iDEA is making a difference to them and their understanding of new technologies.

“My first introduction to iDEA was via U3A, I was approached to consider running a pilot study in my own U3A (Flintshire) but I wanted to evaluate iDEA for myself. I registered with iDEA and worked through and completed the Bronze award. I must say it did become a bit addictive!

The Silver award actually became live during the U3A National Conference although the actual launch was on November 13th. When I got home after the conference I couldn’t wait to get started on the Silver award, apparently I was the 77th (and the oldest) person in the world to achieve it!

“I am now an iDEA Badge Champion and an iDEA organiser. iDEA has so much potential as a resource for all of our U3A members who want to gain knowledge and more importantly an understanding of the place and uses of technology in this digital age.”

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