CONGRATULATIONS to Chris Dredger of Bideford, national winner of the TalkTalk Digital Heroes Award.

FORMER Dartmoor prisoner Chris Dredger of Bideford has been named as the overall national winner of the TalkTalk Digital Heroes Award, following a finals ceremony in the House of Lords yesterday (Thursday).

The award recognises people who harness digital technology to bring about positive social change in their communities.

Chris went to London as the South West regional winner for his work with Storybook Dads, which helps to maintain the vital emotional bond between serving prisoners and their children, by helping offenders to record bedtime stories for their kids on CDs and DVDs.

After judging with 11 other regional finalists, he has come home with the overall award.

As regional winner he won £5,000 and now he has added a further £10,000 to help develop the work of Storybook Dads, helping to buy new video equipment and to roll out the project to other prisons.

Storybook Dads also works with the Armed Forces and Chris would particularly like to extend his work to men on active service.

Chris first came across Storybook Dads while himself serving a sentence in Dartmoor Prison and has worked on the project for two-and-a-half years, continuing to do so after his release. It had become an important part of his life and a turning point, he said.