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IT hub saved for now thanks to £1k grant

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: January 29, 2013

By ADRIAN JENKINS

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A COMPUTER skills centre’s short-term future has been secured thanks to a £1,000 grant from a social housing firm.

The Community Learning Centre, at St John’s Parish Hall, in Rolleston Road, Horninglow, will stay open for at leastseveral more months after receiving the money from Trent and Dove Housing Ltd.

Centre founder John Pollard said: “Trent and Dove’s generosity now means the centre will be able to continue running until June 2013.

“The money will be put towards hire of the community centre, equipment and, of course, broadband fees.

“I’m sure that with the donation made by Trent and Dove, we’ll be able to build on last year’s successes and help more of our neighbourhood become part of the online community.”

Established in 2011, the centre provides a hub for local people to improve their computer skills with free personal training.

Now boasting five volunteers, it delivered 434 training hours last year alone.

However, with existing funds due to run out next month, Mr Pollard was unsure if his project would survive – until Trent and Dove stepped in.

Peter Drew, a housing officer at the company, said: “John was invited along to one of our tenant meetings to let people know a little bit more about the free service he offers.

“We recognise that many of our tenants need a helping hand with getting online as this can be key to helping them find employment, access vital services as well as broaden their social horizons.

“After hearing John speak so passionately about his work, we felt this project shared our goal to transform lives and neighbourhoods and are delighted to be in a position to offer a grant which should help secure the future of the centre in the short term.”

Trent and Dove has made the award as it braces itself for the introduction later this year of Universal Credit, a new single benefit for people looking for work or on a low incomes.

According to the Department for Work and Pensions, the aim is for people to apply online and to manage their claim through an online account.

This has triggered concerns that people with little or no computer skills may find the new system difficult to manage.

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