Government casht to help post offices take on community role

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FIVE post offices across the region are to become hubs for community activity with Government grants worth £10,000 each.

The five were among 25 successful bidders in a Government competition to come up with new ideas for ways post offices can help support their communties, local business and the elderly.

A post office in Batley will use the money to work with a local charity to deliver IT training to disadvantaged people.

Part of a post office in Doncaster will be turned into a new community space to be used for community workshops for pensioners.

Welwyn Park post office, in Hull, will be refurbished to offer a range of services including skills training and arts and crafts activities.

Laughton Common post office will provide activities in partnership with Rotherham United and the Broom Estate post office in Leeds will become the home of a range of projects including a homework club.

Communities Minister Stephen Williams said: “The millions of people visiting branches to post cards and parcels at the moment remind us of the huge community role the post office plays, but this will not just stop in January, it goes on all year round.

“Post offices are becoming community hubs, getting local people and businesses involved with each other, learning new skills, and sharing information and today is a big step forward with 25 areas becoming even more active.

“Christmas is a time when people can feel particularly isolated and the problem is most acute among the elderly so while all these schemes will benefit the whole community I also want to congratulate those schemes that are in particular aimed at helping the elderly.”

The five successful Yorkshire bids were among more than 100 post offices who had asked for a share of the cash from the Government’s Community Enterprise Fund.

Post Office chief executive Paula Vennells said: The Post Office is at the heart of communities across the country and our sub-postmasters understand how they can make a real impact on their customers’ lives.

“The Community Enterprise Fund builds on this unique role, enabling 25 branches to provide additional services designed around the needs of local people and businesses, such as helping the elderly to access support during cold winters and giving people access to the internet and computer training.”

james.reed@ypn.co.uk