Treeton’s silver surfers getting connected

September 29, 2015 | Community News

Resources and training to help older residents of a South Yorkshire village make the most of the Internet have been put in place thanks to a four figure grant from a renewable energy firm.

Dozens of local people in their 70s and 80s are now attending IT training sessions at the Treeton Community Enterprise Centre thanks to a £1,000 grant given by Barlborough-based renewable energy firm Banks Renewables to Treeton Parish Council, which is responsible for running the Centre.

The training, which is provided by tutors visiting the Centre, is designed to enable local residents develop the skills required to use computers and tablets with confidence, and to show them how they can use the technologies to keep in touch with family and friends more easily.

The computers in the Enterprise Centre, which were bought with the support of a previous Banks Renewables grant, are also used by members of the local Job Club to help them find work in the area.

The latest grant was awarded to Treeton Parish Council from the community fund linked to Banks Renewables’ nearby Penny Hill wind farm, which is ring-fenced to support community projects within the parishes of Aston, Thurcroft, Treeton, Ulley and Whiston, and which has already has seen grants totalling over £40,000 made in support of organisations across these communities.

Councillor Terry Adair says: “Sending an email, ordering a supermarket delivery online or downloading a photograph are easy, everyday parts of a lot of people’s lives these days, but many older people don’t have the computer skills required to carry out these tasks and it can leave them feeling both excluded and isolated.

“The tutors that come in have both the technological skills to explain how to carry out these various online tasks and the teaching skills to ensure those they’re working with fully understand what they need to do.

“Our older learners have been very enthusiastic in taking up these training opportunities, and we’ve had lots of fantastic feedback from many of them on how much easier their new skills are making keeping in touch with friends and family who don’t live locally.

“Basing these sessions in a community venue means they’re easy for everyone to access, and the support we’ve had from Banks Renewables in making this project happen will make a big difference to dozens of our residents for years to come.”

The Penny Hill Wind Farm Community Fund will provide over £500,000 of community funding over the 25-year lifespan of the Penny Hill Wind Farm, a figure which would be significantly increased if the solar PV scheme that Banks is now looking to locate on a portion of the Penny Hill site gets the go ahead.

Lewis Stokes, development relations coordinator at the Banks Group, adds: “It’s great to see these training courses being so well received by people in Treeton, and we hope they will enable everyone involved to make the most of everything that new technologies offer.”

Projects, community groups, or voluntary organisations in the vicinity of the Penny Hill Wind Farm which are looking for a grant of up to £3,000 should contact James Eaglesham at the Banks Community Fund on 0191 378 6342 for further information.

For more information on the Penny Hill Wind Farm please visit:

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