A Spaldwick man’s drive to get his village connected to superfast broadband has been recognised by the Prime Minister.
Mark Heath encouraged more than 90 per cent of the community to back a campaign to bring Spaldwick to the top of the pile for getting faster internet connections, and then organised workshops to help the older generations get to grips with the worldwide web.
His efforts, which were sparked by the Connecting Cambridgeshire superfast broadband programme, earned him a Point of Light award and praise from David Cameron.
“Mark is a great volunteer whose workshops have enabled more people in Spaldwick to get up to speed with the internet,” said Mr Cameron.
“With more than 40 per cent of households in the village already connected to the new superfast broadband network that the Government and Connecting Cambridgeshire is rolling out, Spaldwick is one of the best connected communities in the UK and much of this is down to all the hard work put in by Mark.”
Mr Heath, who runs a business supplying multimedia content for online firms, has visited the Spaldwick Welcome Club, a social group for over 55-year-olds, and helped more than 50 people to get the most out of the internet. He also gives up his own time to run the Spaldwick Village website, a community hub, which contains advice on solving internet connection problems and tips for residents to get online.
He said: “Broadband champions across the country are spending a lot of their time helping their communities to get online and stimulate the demand for superfast broadband. I hope that this award encourages others to take on the fulfilling role of broadband champion.”
Mr Heath is the 122nd winner of the Points of Light award, given to people who give their free time to helping the community.
North West Cambridgeshire MP Shailesh Vara added: “I am delighted that Mark Heath has won a prestigious Points of Light award. It is important that all members of society are able to enjoy the benefits of modern technology and Mark’s commitment to helping his local community, especially the elderly, has rightly been recognised.”