John Crich with East Durham College programme area leader for Business and IT, Jill Tones

Community Work Gives IT Student Nomination For National Award

An East Durham College IT student’s work in the local community hasn’t gone unnoticed as he has been nominated for a prestigious national award.

John Crich, 17, from Shotton Colliery, has been nominated as a finalist in the 2016 Tech4Good awards in the Volunteer of the Year category.


The nomination came about following has spent time this year working as a volunteer Digital Champion with Time to Get Online with County Durham Housing Group, a digital inclusion project that pairs tech-savvy volunteers with people who want to learn how to use their smartphone, tablet or laptop, or who want help in using online services.


John’s work plays a key part in the project, empowering users with one-to-one support through his patient and relaxed approach to teaching.


And John is currently in the process of developing a web-based community forum which the public will be able to access free of charge, and will include frequently asked questions, guides, a facility to submit questions, and receive a personal response.


East Durham College, programme area leader for Business and IT, Jill Tones, said: “John, who is on the autistic spectrum, is determined that others see past his disability, and is an inspiration for us all as an example of living life to the full and achieving our full potential.


“He has really impressed on his college course this year and the hard work he has done outside of college is fantastic.


“Congratulations from everyone at the college to John on this brilliant nomination.”


County Durham Housing Group’s Digital Inclusion Project Co-ordinator, Vickie Musgrove, added: “John volunteers as a Digital Champion for our ‘Time to get online’ project, which enables local people to get online.


“He uses his technical knowledge to support and empower attendees at our informal and interactive learning sessions.


“We’re thrilled that John has been shortlisted for the ‘IT volunteer of the year’ award and we wish him the best of luck.”


You can vote for John Crich to win the People’s Award 2016 by tweeting the hashtag #T4GJohnCrich or by visiting the Tech4Good Awards website by 5pm on Tuesday 5th July.