Lottery grant spells community training boost for Wellingborough
Published by kerri smith for Wellingborough Homes in Housing and also in Communities
A scheme to break down barriers and boost people’s skills by taking training courses out into the Wellingborough community has won Lottery funding.
Local housing association Wellingborough Homes has been awarded £6,454 from the Big Lottery’s Awards for All fund.
The cash injection will also bolster Wellingborough Homes’ campaign to help people who may lose out due to the new welfare reform changes, which include people having to access benefits and jobs online.
It is feared that many people without IT skills or access to a computer will suffer financially under the new rules but Wellingborough Homes runs computer courses to help people gain the skills needed so they can make claims and applications online.
The Lottery grant will pay for 10 laptop computers and two printers, plus venue hire, so that training courses can be run for the borough’s residents in various community locations across the borough.
Wellingborough Homes already runs a range of courses at its Tenant Resource Centre in Thompson Court but they have proved so popular that the housing provider wants to run outreach sessions.
Working with partners Workers Educational Association, Neighbourhood Learning and Northamptonshire County Council, Wellingborough Homes offers a programme of courses to build people’s confidence, develop skills and improve their employability.
The Lottery windfall will fund courses – such as IT for the Terrified, Digital Photography, First Click and IT for Work, Learning and the Home – to be run at various venues, including community centres and Wellingborough Homes’ supported housing schemes.
Irene Carter, Customer services & Outreach Manager at Wellingborough Homes, said: “We are delighted to have won this Lottery grant.
“The success of classes at our training centre made us realise there is a need for courses out in the community. Not everyone wants to come into town, and undertaking courses can be quite daunting, so we want to break down the barriers to learning and make it more accessible for all.”
“We know from our feedback forms and other surveys that users of our training courses would like to see more provided, and that some of these should be provided closer to where they live,” she added.
Attendance at Wellingborough Homes’ training courses totalled more than 1,600 in the year April 2011-March 2012, and there are currently 150 people on the waiting list – including a third wanting IT training.