Last chance to benefit from community fund

Donna Easby, left, of NPS with Hartlepool Council's Kirsty Swanson.
Donna Easby, left, of NPS with Hartlepool Council's Kirsty Swanson.
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A final call has gone out for Hartlepool voluntary and community organisations wishing to benefit from a local technology grant scheme.

 Northgate Public Services (NPS) Community Fund has £30,000 available to help improve people’s information technology (IT) and computer skills within the community.

 However, organisations will have to be quick as the deadline for applications is Friday.

 The initiative – launched last year – forms part of the partnership between Hartlepool Council and (NPS), which has a seven-year contract to provide IT services to the local authority.

 This resulted in NPS creating its Regional Business Centre in the former Bryan Hanson House building, securing 235 jobs.

 To be eligible for a grant, organisations must deliver services in Hartlepool Borough, been in existence for more than 12 months, demonstrate that they deliver value for money and must not be in receipt of funding for similar activities from the council.

 The grant can be used for a variety of purposes, such as training courses to enhance people’s ICT skills.

 One of the organisations to benefit last year from the scheme was the West View Advice and Resource Centre, which was awarded £5,000.

 Its manager, Val Evens, said: “We wanted the community to benefit from this so we arranged a variety of computer digital skills courses, based in Hartlepool in various locations. The sessions were offered to all residents, of all ages; especially to help those who had no or little computer skills.

 “The courses have been very well received and we have already received feedback from one student who has started full-time employment since participating on the course.”

 Joe Bradley, Executive Director with Northgate Public Services, added: “Once again there has been lots of interest in the grant scheme, but there is still time to apply before the deadline of Friday.”

 For an application form, contact Kirsty Swanson at Hartlepool Council on 01429 523003 or visit www.hartlepool.gov.uk/ncf or email kirsty.swanson@hartlepool.gov.uk