New ‘Include-IT Mersey’ project aims to get people online

Include-IT Mersey Digital Inclusion project offers IT skills training and employment support for local, unemployed people, especially those aged 45 and over. 

Include-IT Mersey is a new project, jointly funded by the European Social Fund and the Big Lottery Fund as part of its 2014-2020 Building Better Opportunities Programme.  The project will provide a personalised package of support to digitally excluded residents of the Liverpool City Region that are out of work to help improve their IT and online skills, confidence in using and practical access to digital technologies and, ultimately, support them towards and into employment.

The project will be delivered by a partnership of 23* not-for-profit and public sector partners spanning the six boroughs of Liverpool, Knowsley, Sefton, St Helens, Halton and Wirral, with specific target areas in each borough.

Led by Sefton CVS, in collaboration with VOLA Consortium members, local Housing Associations and Local Authorities, this innovative multi-agency partnership is founded on partners that really care about their local communities.  It will ensure that those in need of support to help develop their IT skills, access to online services and digital technologies will receive the best possible service, whatever their starting point.  In addition to IT skills development, assistance will include employability and personal skills development to support people into or closer to employment.

Angela White, Chief Executive of Sefton CVS said:

“We are delighted to have been awarded this funding and it is an honour to be leading such an innovative partnership, spanning the voluntary, public and social housing sectors.  The online agenda is increasingly prevalent in people’s every day lives and can present an additional barrier to those people that are not online, not just in terms of their employment prospects and access to job opportunities, but in their private and social lives too. Developing IT skills and getting online can open up a whole new world to people in many different ways!  We very much look forward to working with our partners to offer this vital service to across the city region and to make a real difference to local people and communities”.

The project is currently being set up and hopes to start being able to offer services to people from May 2017, and more details will be announced in the coming weeks. For those already online, you can find out more and sign up to receive updates at

Big Lottery funding for Botanic club

A BIG lottery funding grant has helped members of the Botanic Gardens Sports and Social club carry out vital repairs on their run-down building.

They had previously been waiting to replace the roof of the main clubhouse and refurbish part of the club for three years.

A spokesperson for the club said: “At last, after three years and thanks to the Big Lottery and private donations, it has been possible to replace the roof and complete all the other works necessary to open the main clubroom.

“It is hoped that in the new year the card and meeting room will be ready for use and other work completed.

“In the meantime the two snooker tables are in use and we can hold small meetings in this room.

“Although dating from 1948, many people are unaware of the club’s existence.

“However, the coffee morning just held was a success and some new members were welcomed to the club.

“Now the refurbishment has been nearly completed we look forward to welcoming old and new members to the club.

“If you would like further details please contact our Treasurer Ron Ormandy on Southport 506133 or Chairman, Tony Wellard on Southport 227147.”

The Celebrate England Fund! (Big Lottery Funding)

Six out of ten people surveyed say they cannot remember ever coming together to celebrate with their community. The Big Lottery Fund wants to help change this with their Celebrate! programme.

They are offering grants of between £300 and £10,000 for groups to hold one off events or activities which celebrate their local community.

You could celebrate something from your community’s history or a local hero. Or maybe it could a chance to bring people together to get to know their neighbours better.

The Big Lottery Fund have a total of £3.875m for projects in England.

What will you celebrate?

Click here to visit the BLF website, where you can find more information on the fund and how to apply.