The chairman of a group designed at getting more ‘silver surfers’ in Wem has spoken of his delight at receiving the Queen’s Award, the highest honour a voluntary group can receive.

Getting Older Adults Online (GOAL) was formed in 2013 to help older people come to terms with modern technology and has helped more than 180 elderly, disabled, and lonely people since then.

Chairman Phil Moyse, who is also a town councillor in Wem, admitted he was so happy to discover they were a recipient of the award and thanked all those who support GOAL in achieving their targets.

“I am absolutely delighted that our special little group in Wem Town has been recognised,” he said.

“Without their hard work and commitment a lot of people would be struggling to cope with this fast-changing world of technology. Other valued members of the GOAL group are Brian Gee, Bob Dibben, Veronica Hilton, Ian Cruise Taylor, Charlie Crichton and Irene Gornall.

“Meres and Mosses (Connexus) have supported us both financially and physically with a computer room free of charge for two mornings a week – this is a massive help with our work in the community.

“Many thousands of elderly people are being left behind with the ongoing reliance on technology. Banks and other facilities are closing in rural areas leaving and deserting older people who do not have the facilities or knowledge to access online services.

“Technology can be a wonderful thing if you know how to use and trust it. Those that are elderly, disabled or lonely could have a fantastic facility to help them get goods delivered to them, save money by shopping around, organise holidays and have a wealth of knowledge at their hands.

“We at GOAL help them achieve this and feel that ‘Every Town should have a GOAL’.”

Mr Moyse and Ms Hilton, who is the membership secretary, attended a garden party at Buckingham Palace on May 29 along with other recipients of this year’s Queen’s Award.

Representatives of GOAL will receive the award from Anna Turner, Lord Lieutenant of Shropshire later this summer on July 31 at Wem Town Hall.

If you need help to set up a town/village GOAL, you can contact them on 01939 233533.