AN ETHICAL business organisation based in Bolton is spearheading a £30,000 “digital inclusion” drive to help disadvantaged people access important services on the internet.

The Antz Network, backed by money from supermarket chain Asda, is aiming to get some of the poorest communities in Bolton online.

Jen Pemberton, founder of the Antz Network, said: “A high proportion of people still have no access to laptops, computers and broadband, yet most of the key services they need to access, like trying to find work, is done via the internet.

“We want to work with these people one-to-one and help get them connected. We are aiming to do this as soon as possible.”

The Antz Network has the capacity to handle up to 20 people per day at its base in Commercial House, Bridgeman Place, and in Rake Lane, Swinton.

The scheme is being introduced also with the help of banks RBS and Barclays and in conjunction with seven Asda stores, BT Openreach, Bolton at Home Your Housing, Great Places Housing, Trafford Housing Trust, and Bolton, Salford and Trafford councils.

“We want to make a massive difference with this scheme,” added Ms Pemberton. “So far there is no cut off point, so I would encourage people who need help getting online to get in touch with us.

“Many of these people need work, and they can’t find it because they cannot get connected.”

Meanwhile, the Antz Network has joined forces with Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce as its influence across the conurbation increases.

Anyone who wants to register for the digital inclusion programme should email