West Kent and Wealden Villages Set for Funding Boost

SILVER surfers in Uckfield and villagers in Speldhurst, Langton Green and Groombridge are among dozens of groups benefiting from a cash bonanza handed out by the National Lottery.

St Mark’s Primary School, which runs an IT club for Uckfield’s pensioners, has been awarded more than £7,000 to buy new computers and bring in specialist help, while the people of Speldhurst have been given £5,000 to fund a questionnaire.

St Mark’s head teacher, Claire Rivers, said the money offered a lifeline to the service, allowing the club to use 14 laptops over one floor, so avoiding the need to use stairs to the main computer suite.

The club, known as DO IT HD (Hadlow Down), meets every Friday and helps those in their 70s, 80s and even 90s to learn up-to-date skills.

Mrs Rivers said it taught pensioners vital techniques, such as ordering online and how to talk to distant relatives via video link, such as Skype.

“From the school’s point of view, the community is very important and it’s very good for the children to see adults still learning and to see that learning does not stop when you leave school. You can still learn new skills,” she said.

“We have been running it for four years now and our members have found that looking at things on the internet can be quite good fun.”

italian-garden-409969_1280People living in the parish of Speldhurst say they are also delighted after being handed a £5,000 cash injection to fund a parish questionnaire – the results of which will be used to outline the parish plan.

The questionnaires will drop through letterboxes in the next two months with people asked to give their views on issues including transport, speeding and aircraft noise.

Chairman of the parish plan working group Ken Howes, 68, said the results would then be collated and a draft plan produced in the first quarter of next year.

“The money is extremely welcome,” he said.

“Our main aim is to find out from people the sort of things that affect their quality of life within the parish and what they would like to see happening over the next few years.”

Mr Howes said the money would be used to employ a marketing firm to help format the questionnaire and analyse the answers.

The pamphlets will be distributed by volunteers to all households in the three villages of Speldhurst, Langton Green and Old Groombridge.


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