Billington rivers champion wins techno award

Catherine Birtwistle and Nigel Evans
Catherine Birtwistle and Nigel Evans

A smart idea from a Billington technology expert has been recognised at the House of Commons.

Talented Catherine Birtwistle, who has a passion and ambition for innovation, received the regional Talk Talk Digital Champion Award after coming up with an idea to engage with people to help improve the water environment.

Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans attended the Talk Talk Digital Heroes Award Ceremony at the House of Commons, which is a countrywide scheme recognising people who harness technology to bring about positive social change.

Catherine works with the Ribble Rivers Trust on the Ribble Life project, which explores different ways of engaging with people to help improve the water environment.

One of the most exciting ideas to come out of the project has been the “Ribble Way QR Trail”, which allows anyone with a smartphone to access information about the river as they walk the Ribble Way, one of the North West’s most used footpaths.

If successful, the funding will be used to turn this idea into reality. It will help to educate people about wildlife and habitats, raise awareness of issues that adversely affect rivers, encourage people to take better care of their environment and promote more active lifestyles.

Mr Evans said: “I was delighted Catherine has won this esteemed award. The hard work she does is admirable and inspiring. It’s so important people contributing to such worthwhile causes are credited and acknowledged for what they do to help their community.

“Technology and the digital revolution can be harnessed as a force for good, for education and bringing people and passions together. Catherine’s project represents all of those ambitions and I sincerely hope this funding helps her to achieve those goals.”

Catherine was awarded a £5,000 grant towards her project.