DEARNE ELECTRIC COMMUNITY VILLAGE LIT UP BY COALFIELDS FUNDING Dearne Electronic Community Village (DECV), the Dearne Valley based training and skills provider, has been awarded just under £10,000 in funding thanks to the Coalfields Community Investment Programme, supported by the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, the only organisation dedicated to supporting former mining towns and villages. The funding, which totals £9,970, will contribute towards the delivery of an ICT and employability skills programme for unemployed residents in Thurnscoe and the surrounding area. DECV, based within Thurnsoce Community Centre, has a track record of being able to upskill local residents and assist them in their journey to find full time employment. By working with attendees through one-to-one and small group sessions, the independent voluntary organisation is able to support them gain an accredited ICT certificate and help with writing CVs, covering letters, job applications and preparing for interviews. The ICT courses, provided by DECV and accredited by the OCR, reach out to people from across the community who for a variety of reasons do not have the skills needed to perform basic computer-based tasks. By attending the courses the participants are able to drastically improve their chances of finding employment as IT skills are seen as a necessity by most employers. Rory Garforth, who is responsible for running the employment and skills programme, comments: “The Coalfields funding received is a huge boost to the work that we do here and we will be able to extend our reach and help even more people in the local community. Breaking the cycle of unemployment is a difficult challenge but by working together through skills-based sessions we are able to tackle this problem head-on.” “Basic ICT skills may be second nature to some people, but others may find it extremely challenging. Providing IT training to those who are not always computer literate will drastically improve their chances of securing much needed long-term employment.” Andy Lock, Head of Operations (England) for the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, comments: “Unemployment remains a significant challenge in coalfield communities and Thurnscoe is no exception. We know that skills, confidence and mentoring greatly improves somebody’s chance of securing employment and has a lasting and positive effect not only on those who are able to find work but also the wider community.” “Unemployment often brings with it serious, negative social problems by providing the resources needed to coalfields organisation such as Dearne Electronic Community Village we are able to support those wishing to find work and improve their quality of life.” Delivered by the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, the Coalfields Community Investment Programme supports organisations and programmes of activity that meet with three key criteria; to address skills, employment or health. As the organisation has become a member of Coalfield Community Investment Programme they will continue to be supported by the Trust and will have access to bespoke practical support including access to resources and services such as help with third-party funding applications and bid-writing, to tips on effective promotion and marketing.