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Last Updated: Wednesday, 1 September, 2004, 06:03 GMT 07:03 UK
Silver surfers' cyber café award
Ty Waunarlwydd
Residents asked for the internet cafe to be set up
Pensioners at a home in Swansea are celebrating after their internet cafe picked up a special award.

JJ's Cybernet café opened in March after the elderly surfers asked for help keeping in touch with their families.

The café in the council-run Tŷ Waunarlwydd home and day centre impressed competition organisers so much they set up a special award honouring it.

The judges of the Yahoo! Mail Internet Café Awards said JJ's "proves that age isn't a barrier to joining the www revolution."

Swansea council officially opened the café in March, and its two computers are now used by pensioners aged from 62 to 90 to keep in touch with family around the world and to surf the net.

It's great that this age group is getting the chance to learn how to e-mail and keep in touch with their grandchildren.
Judge Lyn Hughes

The OAPs can even join in events like family parties and weddings via a web cam.

One resident, Eileen Griffiths, 89, now regularly uses the internet to email her daughters who live in South Africa and America.

Following the success, the council is looking at opening more cafés in residential centres across the city.

"Mary Beniamous, the home's manager, said: "The café users are delighted to have won this special award.

"The residents feel that people of an older age are still able to learn about new technology and acquire new skills.

"We have had e-mails from as far afield as America and Singapore asking us about our unusual café.

"It is proving more popular and useful than we had ever expected."

Eileen Griffiths
Eileen Griffiths talks to her daughter in South Africa via a web cam

One of the competition judges Lyn Hughes, editor of Wanderlust magazine, said: "It's great that this age group is getting the chance to learn how to e-mail and keep in touch with their grandchildren.

"It really has changed the way these two generations communicate.

"This really is a very special cafe, which deserved a special commendation."

Yahoo!Mail received more than 1,000 nominations from around the world.

Among the other winners was a cyber café in a launderette in San Francisco which was voted the most unusual.

One on Moscow's Red Square was voted most stylish while another in Timbuktu, Mali was the most remote.

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