Broadband company Fibrus has donated computers to Wigton Youth Station and given money to train young people to protect themselves against cyber crime.

This initiative, the Fibrus Community Fund Cumbria, was launched in April 2023 in partnership with Cumbria Community Foundation.

Spiral, an organisation that supports young individuals vulnerable to bullying, is among the recipients of the funding.

News and Star: The broadband company is donating funds for computersThe broadband company is donating funds for computers (Image: Pixabay)

With the help of IT security company Cache4, the grant will allow them to offer online courses to young people.

Course topics range from mobile device security to social media awareness.

Spiral’s founder Maryann Liddle said: "Cyber security is something that has to be learnt, it's not a natural instinct to anyone.

"And, because young people use lots of apps, websites and social media sites, and often have to use free public wifi, they’re particularly vulnerable to cyber attacks.

"But thanks to the grant and our partnership with Cache4, we’ll be able to give young people the knowledge and skills they need to protect themselves."

Wigton Youth Station plans to use its grant to buy computers young people can use to complete homework or apply for jobs.

The youth station also intends to run video production and animation workshops.

Charity manager Kate Jensen said: "The local policing team have confirmed our sessions have a positive effect on lowering reported instances within the town."

Fibrus has donated £60,000 to tackle so-called digital poverty over the past year.

They are focusing on people under 18 and over 60.

Chief people officer at Fibrus, Linda McMillan said: "We know how beneficial fibrefast broadband can be to communities, but we’re acutely aware that digital poverty is a big issue, so this fund is all about enabling everyone to make the most of being connected."

In 2023, 31 organisations including Time to Change; Age UK South Lakeland; the 4th Workington Guides and Scouts and the Brathay Trust received support from Fibrus.

Beyond these contributions, Fibrus is investing more than £700m in full fibre broadband for Northern England and Northern Ireland.

Community groups can apply for the next round of funding from April 22 to May 17 via the Cumbria Community Foundation website.

Fibrus set up the Community Fund Cumbria in April 2023 to help community groups provide vulnerable people with internet access and digital technology.

The initiative also gives grants to rural communities in Cumbria.

This coincides with Fibrus rolling out high-speed broadband connections to Cumbrian homes.

The company recently announced two new connectable locations, Ambleside and Workington, joining Aspatria and Staveley, which were connected under the Government’s Project Gigabit contract last year.