Success for silver surfer

Alan Hepworth, who has been shortlisted for Age UK's Internet Champion 2012 scheme.

Alan Hepworth, who has been shortlisted for Age UK's Internet Champion 2012 scheme.

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A FORMER explosives expert blew the competition away to be shortlisted in a competition to crown the best “silver surfers”.

Alan Hepworth (pictured) is in the running to be Age UK Internet Champion for 2012.

Judging is ongoing and the champion will act as a leading light to the 5.7m people aged over 65 who have never used the internet and are missing out on the vast financial and social benefits it can offer.

These include keeping in touch with grandchildren, discovering new hobbies and interests and saving money by shopping around.

Alan, 69, who lives in Trimdon Village with wife Margaret, impressed judges with his desire to help others get online and extensive use of the internet such as his passion for genealogy, his use of skype and facebook and using the internet to search for the cheapest deals for holidays and household utilities.

Alan, who is a keen artist and former miner, said: “I would deem it an honour to encourage other older people to get online and make a fundamental difference to someone else’s life.

“Without a shadow of a doubt the internet has improved my quality of life and I would like to pass that on to others.”

This is the third year of the Age UK Internet Champion of the Year search.

If successful in making it though to the final four, Alan will join three other finalists from across the UK at a prestigious awards ceremony at the Royal Society in London on Monday, January 30, to reveal the champion.