EDT @ KMCU
The project, which was helped off the ground thanks to a Community Outreach grant from UK online centres and Nominet Trust, is a partnership between Everton Development Trust and Knowsley Mutual Credit Union.
Kirkby suffers from high levels of deprivation, with many residents transacting only in cash, without bank accounts or debit cards. This has led to a number of social issues, with loan sharks exerting a worrying hold over those without any access to credit.
To help combat this social divide, the local Credit Union has partnered up with the Department for Work and Pensions to run a pilot, developing new products to introduce the town’s residents to a more formal banking model. However, without the access and skills to use computers and the internet, it was initially difficult for the residents to interact with the programme.
This is where the Community Outreach grant came into play, explains Will Roby, Projects Officer at the Everton Development Trust. He says: “A lot of people are frightened of the internet, and think that its less safe than carrying cash around in your pocket, when of course its the opposite. This project aims to do a lot of work to break down these barriers and get people feeling confident about using computers and the internet.”
“The grant has allowed us to run Online basics sessions, familiarising the town’s residents with computers and the internet at a pace and in a location they feel comfortable, meaning we can remove a lot of these concerns”
“The project’s only is its early days, but one of the huge benefits it will have is that there will be a lessening of the hold that loan sharks will have over people, as once people are able to use the services of the Credit Union they can take advantage of small loans at reasonable rates. By getting more people to use the credit union’s services, we’ll know we’re having a real impact.
“In today’s society, the most deprived end up paying the highest prices for things, and with this project we’re trying to combat this. It just wouldn’t have been possible without the grant from Nominet Trust and UK online centres."
About the Community Outreach Programme
Last summer we teamed up with UK Online Centres to provide new grant funding for local organisations working in the heart of communities to get more people online.The 'Community Outreach Fund' supported more than 150 innovative outreach projects, helping local community organisations to help people get online in places in the community that they feel comfortable. We have filmed a few of the projects so you can find out about some of the communities that have benefited from this programme.