The Humber All Nations Alliance (HANA), which represents 57 minority community associations in Hull, has unveiled its new KCOM-sponsored IT Hub that will enable its members to get online.
The new Hub was officially opened this week by the Lord Mayor of Hull, councillor Sean Chaytor.
The new hub contains five desktop PCs with Lightstream broadband access to enable visitors to the Portland Street centre to search for jobs and services online as well using sites such as Facebook to connect with family members back home.
HANA chief executive officer Brigitta Laszlo said the new facility would help improve the lives of many people in the city.
She said: “What we do here is basically bring people together and help them integrate into society.
“We help new groups to find their feet, set up bank accounts and write constitutions, so they can then hold events and activities for their members. This all helps create community cohesion in Hull.
“What this new KCOM Hub will enable our members to do is to access the internet and that means everything from applying for jobs, to writing CVs, sorting out insurance, organising events and finding housing.
“Many people who come here don’t have access to a computer so this will help lots of doors and opportunities for them.”
Among the many nationalities who have community groups represented at HANA are Russian, Polish, Lithuanian, Chinese, Hungarian, Mongolian and Slovakian.
HANA organises several events in the city including its annual World Cup tournament, which features teams from all the nationalities represented by the organisation. This year it will be held in May.
For the first time this year HANA will also stage a multicultural festival and fashion show at Hymers College in July.
As well as installing the computers and decorating the new Hub, volunteers from KCOM’s sales and engagement team will also attend drop in sessions on the first Tuesday of every month, between 10am and 2pm, to give support accessing the internet and basic IT guidance.
The team was established in 2015 to develop long-term relationships with local companies and charities and has so far engaged with 7,000 customers across Hull and East Yorkshire.
An IT information booklet has also been translated into several languages for use at HANA.
Brendon Smurthwaite, KCOM community co-ordinator, said: “It’s really important that we show what a warm, welcoming place Hull is and that we reach out to people who have made their home here to help them to integrate and become part of the Hull community.
“At KCOM we are committed to making Hull a better place to work, live and play and this IT Hub will help the many different communities groups that live in Hull come together and build better lives for them and their children.”