North Hertfordshire Homes help community centres mark Spring Online Week with campaign launch

Lynda Papworth, Yvette Richards, Amelia Otto and Nicola Price from North Hertfordshire Homes show of

Lynda Papworth, Yvette Richards, Amelia Otto and Nicola Price from North Hertfordshire Homes show off some of the new equipment that is being used by community centres across the area this week. - Credit: Archant

A housing association has launched a campaign to help tenants get online.

North Hertfordshire Homes is marking Spring Online Week – which runs through to Sunday – by providing five community centres in Hitchin, Letchworth, Lilley and Offley with new computer equipment.

The not-for-profit organisation has also joined 14 other associations who make up the Connected Housing Initiative so it can provide digital skills training to tenants, as well as offering affordable equipment and connections to help more people get online.

The move follows a national survey in 2014 which found that 40 per cent of social housing tenants who are of working age – even though half would feel confident of making a benefit application using the internet.

Nicola Price from North Hertfordshire Homes says the housing association is keen to make such statistics a thing of the past and hopes that initiatives like the one being rolled out this week will help make a difference.

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“It’s great to see that the community centres will be using their equipment for lots of different reasons,” said the neighbourhood development officer.

“We’ve heard of plans this week for family evenings, volunteers helping daycare clients to surf the internet and help with planning fundraising activities.”

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The five centres involved in Spring Online Week are Westmill Community Centre and Christchurch Methodist and United Reform Church in Hitchin, Letchworth’s Howard Garden Social & Day Care Centre, Cassel Hall in Lilley and Offley Community Centre.

Spring Online Week was devised by Digital Unite and since being launched in 2002 has helped more than 200,00 engage with digital technology – and many for the first time.

Last year, about 800 events were organised across the UK supporting more than 16,000 people. If you know someone who could benefit then visit to find out more.

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