Work Avenue receives £8,000 National Lottery grant for laptop library

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Work Avenue receives £8,000 National Lottery grant for laptop library

Community employment centre benefits from coronavirus support fund, enabling it to purchase and loan out 15 laptops to those in need

Work Avenue
Work Avenue

The community’s employment hub, Work Avenue, has received a National Lottery boost of £8,000.

The Finchley-based centre was awarded a grant to create a laptop library as part of its Digital Skills Programme.

The charity, which has seen a surge in demand during the pandemic, applied to the Coronavirus Community Support Fund to help jobseekers who are unable to access its virtual support due to a lack of computer access.

It enables Work Avenue to purchase and loan out 15 laptops, and the project is now due to launch in the next few weeks.

Work Avenue CEO Debbie Sheldon said many jobseekers “find it difficult to upskill or find work because they don’t have access to a computer”, and this “became particularly evident during lockdown.”

In some instances, families had one phone, which was being used as a computer by their children to access school classes, leaving the adults little usage.”

“Providing a laptop library to our clients will be transformative, especially for people who are vulnerable, such as those who are shielding, suffer from poor mental health, or those with specific learning difficulties.”

These laptops are a crucial resource that will help to bridge the digital divide and open up new training and employment opportunities.”

While the idea for this project was born during lockdown, its lifetime and impact will exceed these immediately challenging times.”

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