Locals urged: ‘get involved’

COME ON DOWN: Maggie Heaps pictured with colleagues and local residents outside the Mansepool Close centre
COME ON DOWN: Maggie Heaps pictured with colleagues and local residents outside the Mansepool Close centre

RESIDENTS are being urged to take advantage of two new community hang-outs offering a range of drop-in sessions and educational courses.

The Community Learning Information Centres in Mansepool Close, in the Central Estate, and in Northgate, on the Headland, have opened to give residents the chance to enhance skills needed in a job and take part in a number of fun-packed sessions.

They were both derelict shop units before funding from the Neighbourhood Action Plan Forum and Hartlepool Borough Council’s adult education department helped to turn them in to the centres.

Now, bosses at the centres are encouraging residents to get involved and put their ideas forward.

Donella Barnfather, outreach development worker for Hartlepool Borough Council, said: “Both of the new centres are there as a tool for the people.

“We hold a number of drop-in sessions, courses based on a range of different activities and educational opportunities to help people into work.

“But we want people to come forward and let us know what they want from the centres.

“We can then take their advice and turn it around and offer what we then know will be very popular.”

Ted Lee, chairman of the Central Estate Neighbourhood Action Plan Forum, said: “This can be really useful for residents if they start using it.

“Whether people are just dropping in for a chat or coming to take part in courses, I think it can be a real success.

“It costs absolutely nothing for residents to take part and we are already looking to start jewellery classes and computer courses.”

Maggie Heaps, adult education co-ordinator at the council, said: “The centres in Mansepool Close and on the Headland will hopefully help residents in offering them a way into volunteering and getting people back into work through a number of courses.

“We look forward to hearing the suggestions of residents on how they feel we can develop this even more.”

A coffee morning will be taking place at the centre, in 11 Mansepool Close, on Tuesday, February 1, from 10am.

For more information about the centres, call (01429) 868616.