Award for Tony’s vital village role

A FRISTON resident who has helped the community keep up with the young in the technology stakes has been named runner-up in a national award.

Computeractive Magazine launched its first ever ‘Home Computing Heroes Awards’ to celebrate everyday people up and down the country, who have made a massive difference to other people’s lives through technology.

Tony Rix was nominated for his voluntary technology work with the mainly retired community of Friston.

He set up the Computer and Camera Club in September 2000 after deciding he wanted to help elderly residents to keep up with the young in the technology stakes.

Over the years, Tony and his team have taught people how to use a PC, and about the link between computers and everyday items such as cameras and mobile phones, making the world of modern technology accessible to his local community.

The club meets once a month to discuss their latest computer queries and listen to guest speakers who talk on a range of topics.

Although now over 80, Tony is still a relentless campaigner for computer education in the area.

He is currently in discussion with Sussex Downs College in Eastbourne to make their computer courses accessible with an online tutor so that local residents can learn at home.

As well as this, Tony still runs the East Dean and Friston website which allows community members to keep up-to-date with local news and events and his website currently achieves more than 70,000 hits a year.

Paul Allen, editor of Computeractive, said, “While there are lots of magazines and websites that help people to learn about computers, some people really need the personal guidance that only computer clubs can provide.

“If it wasn’t for people like Tony, the practical benefits that computers and other gadgets offer to people of all ages would be lost to so many.”