Dearne housing firm in top award win

Helen Jaggar, Chris Brownley and Matt Lowe of Berneslai Homes, accept the NFA 'Championing Digital Inclusion' Award.

Helen Jaggar, Chris Brownley and Matt Lowe of Berneslai Homes, accept the NFA 'Championing Digital Inclusion' Award.

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A company which manages council homes across the Dearne Valley has won a top national award.

Berneslai Homes won first prize in the ‘Championing Digital Inclusion’ category in recognition of their work to help residents who face problems with access to technology and the internet.

The award was given out at a recent ceremony at the Midland Hotel in Manchester.

Helen Jaggar, chief executive of Berneslai Homes, said: “We are delighted that the hard work of our staff and our partner organisations have been recognised with this award. We have worked across the Borough, delivering support to over 700 tenants and residents in conjunction with the ‘Get IT Together Barnsley’ project in the past 14 months.”

Matt Lowe, Berneslai Homes’ digital inclusion officer, added: ”More and more services are now moving to digital first, soon it will be the only way people can apply for many benefits so it’s vital to get online. “However, for many the Internet remains something they fear or know little about. Our courses provide support to tenants that wish to learn more about computers and the great enjoyment the internet can bring to their lives.

“We’ve had many tenants sign up to their first Skype accounts and contact family as far afield as Australia. The internet brings families closer together and gives people access to the best deals which can save them money.”

“We would like to thank all our tenants and staff that have got involved with the events that we held and also the fabulous volunteer tutors from our partners at ‘Get IT Together Barnsley’ who made the scale of our project possible.”