Big lottery grants for groups

Grey haired novice computer users who want to log on to the internet in Norfolk libraries and a project designed to bolster community groups in Great Yarmouth were celebrating mammoth lottery grants yesterday.

Grey haired novice computer users who want to log on to the internet in Norfolk libraries and a project designed to bolster community groups in Great Yarmouth were celebrating mammoth lottery grants yesterday.

The Surf's Up scheme run by Norfolk County Council and Yarmouth's Community Connections were told by the Big Lottery Fund that they would share a �539,262 windfall.

Since 2007 Surf's Up has seen nearly 400 people aged over 65 discover the joys of the internet by learning how to access the world wide web at computer courses run at the county's libraries.

The project was given a major boost yesterday when the Big Lottery Fund said it would hand over a �180,484 grant to help another 2,000 so called silver surfers learn how to log on to computers, surf the internet and send emails.


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The four week courses will help the older generation stay in touch with friends and family and enable them to access services and their bank accounts.

Derrick Murphy, council cabinet member for Cultural Services, said: “This sum of money will allow Surf's Up to continue to empower older people to live more independent lives.

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“The internet can be a very useful tool for older people as it can help them to keep in touch with friends and family via email and access information and find out about services such as online shopping.

“We are anticipating that this grant will mean that about 2,000 older people will be able to take part in the four week course.”

In Yarmouth, staff at the Community Connections' headquarters in Southtown Road were celebrating the announcement that the 10 year-old organisation will receive �358, 778.

Since July 1999 Community Connections has been involved in setting up and supporting 150 community and voluntary groups, such as mother and toddler and deaf groups.

The organisation has also helped disadvantaged people develop confidence and life skills and made sure they had access to the right support services.

The �358,778 grant will mean that from July Community Connection can extend its support operations, especially for unemployed people, by creating two out reach workers posts and a part time development worker for three years.

Chief executive Trish Aydin said: “We are delighted to have been awarded this money. It will enable us to put communities most in need first and provide them with the opportunities to make informed choices when accessing the support they need to make life changes.

“The funding will continue to make a difference in the lives of many people by supporting them to unlock their potential and become involved and closer to the job markets.”

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