A hard-pressed charity has been connected to the worldwide web thanks to business support.
The busy Vine Café and Project, in Tynemouth Road, Howdon, offers a centre for members of the community to meet, and is popular with the elderly.
Previously they had been unable to provide public WiFi.
But thanks to Holystone-based Nexus Technology Services, a company which has developed a new market-leading wi-fi service for businesses, customers at the café can now surf the web while they sip their drinks.
Charity trustee and committee member Tracy Richardson says the service will be a massive boost for the project.
She said: “Funding for the voluntary sector and smaller charities in the north east has been hit hard since the economic crash.
“We used to be online before but it became a case of the rent and the heating and lighting bills having to come first.
“But now people will be able to come into the café again and spend time online thanks to the generosity of Nexus and their new Horizon WiFi product.
“That’s great for us because although we have a lot of elderly customers, it is amazing how many people use the web.
“It also means the Project can offer lessons in how to use the internet.”
The community café has been running since 2002, staffed by volunteers and regularly putting on social activities and Horizon WiFi will help them tailor their services.
Nexus TSL managing directors Paul Sykes and Dean Dixon installed the in-house wi-fi.
Paul said: “One of the many benefits Horizon will give Tracy and the rest of the trustees, is feedback on what is popular with customers and they will be able to use that information to help shape what activities and services they might offer.
”They will also be able to customise their WiFi landing page to let customers know of special offers or activities coming up when they go online there.”
Anyone who would like to support the Vine Project can contact Tracy on 07968 735 240.
Companies interested in installing Horizon’s business WiFi service should call 0333 358 3568 or go to www.nexustsl.com/