Interest is already being shown in a grant scheme for Hartlepool voluntary and community organisations just days after it was launched.
A total of £30,000 is on offer to groups through the Northgate Public Services (NPS) Community Fund to help improve people’s IT and computer skills.
The funding not only enabled us to deliver a fantastic project that made a difference to the lives of visually impaired people in Hartlepool, but also raised the profile of our organisation.Michael Slimings, Incontrol-able
The fund, launched last year, is part of a partnership between Hartlepool Borough Council and (NPS), who have a seven-year contract to provide IT services to the local authority.
Organisations can apply to use the grant money for a variety of purposes, such as the cost of training courses to enhance core ICT skills offered through community groups, changes as a result of the implementation of Universal Credit and establishing a network of community-based digital champions to help promote service uses.
Last year, seven local organisations benefited from grants totalling almost £29,000.
One was Incontrol-able, which provides support services for disabled people.
It delivered the VIP (Visually Impaired People) Project with its £5,000 grant to enable people to access information, advice and guidance, with six tablet computers they loaned out to visually impaired people.
Director Michael Slimings said: “Over the term of the project we received 20 referrals and some remarkable personal stories, with a number of people actually going on to purchase their own tablets or iPads.
“The funding not only enabled us to deliver a fantastic project that made a difference to the lives of visually impaired people in Hartlepool, but also raised the profile of our organisation.”
To be eligible for a grant, organisations need to deliver services in the borough, have been in existence for more than a year, demonstrate value for money and not receive council funding for similar activities. To apply, contact Kirsty Swanson on (01429) 523003, visit www.hartlepool.gov.uk/ncf or email firstname.lastname@example.org