Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

PS10,000 Is Helping to Bring Folk Back Together

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

PS10,000 Is Helping to Bring Folk Back Together

Article excerpt

Byline: Lindsey Sampson Reporter lindsey.sampson@eveninggazette.co.uk

A FLOOD-HIT community is to get a boost after its community hub and post office won a PS10,000 bid.

Local social enterprise and charity Know How North East, winners of last year's Evening Gazette Community Business Award, are enjoying further success after being awarded the cash from the Post Office's Community Enterprise Fund in recognition of the work being done in Port Clarence.

Know How's "Socially Productive Post Office", which sits within the Clarences Community Hub, is the first example of developing the service within a voluntary organisation to be piloted in the UK.

The Post Office operates alongside the hub's convenience store, health centre, IT suite, cafe and creche and is part of a wider programme of work to create a self-sustaining community resource.

Know How's team worked around the clock over last weekend following the recent floods to ensure its doors remained open, providing a base for the emergency response teams and ensuring residents could still access Post Office services.

The PS10,000 award has been given to Know How to make improvements to the hub's internet provision and IT equipment and support more residents to access services and information and seek employment.

It is one of 25 post office branches across the country to be given an award from the fund following a competition, in which the most "outstanding proposals to support local people and businesses, and to tackle isolation amongst the elderly" were picked.

More than 100 branches put forward suggestions for the competition. Danielle Barnes, programme manager at Know How in Port Clarence, said: "With cuts in public spending we are seeing statutory services leeching away from the community and it has never been more crucial that people have access to the internet. …

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