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Rural community organisation wins £10,000 in e-commerce awards

Rural community organisation wins £10,000 in e-commerce awards

A rural community charity based in Penrith, Cumbria has won the national award in the Voluntary & Community category of the DTI-backed InterForum E-Commerce .

The Pentalk Network beat 343 entries in the category, which is sponsored by the Home Office’s Active Community Unit.

Originally established during the foot and mouth crisis, The Pentalk Network
provides free computers and training to promote computer literacy and business adaptation to the local farming community, to encourage the business recovery of the agricultural farm sector. Funding from the DfES, the Rural Recovery and Farmers Fund has enabled the organisation to evolve
into a resource used by farmers from as far away as Zimbabwe and the Falkland Islands with maps, information, weather reports and information about integrating e-commerce into their own business.

The Pentalk Network was presented with a cheque for £8,000 by Stephen Timms, the Minister of State for Energy, E-Commerce and Postal Services at an awards ceremony was held yesterday at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.

The Pentalk Network had already received a cheque for £2,000 at the North West final sponsored by Industries, beating a record number of 567 entries in the region.

The overall national winner of the E-Commerce Awards 2003 and recipient of the grand prize of £30,000 was Response Maintenance and Building Services
(, a building and repair service that has improved job management and building supply delivery by creating a mobile workforce.

The E-Commerce Awards are open to any organisation with less than 250 employees and recognise and reward innovation in the application of Internet and information and communication technologies to transform small businesses in the UK.


Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world's first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp.

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