North Yorkshire County Council is encouraging people to find information about community organisations by using the new online directory, North Yorkshire Connect.

The directory represents a key priority for the council of using technology to improve ways of working and encouraging more people to go online for help and advice.

County Councillor Greg White, Executive Member for Customer Engagement, said:

“I’m delighted to see this valuable resource up and running and our hope is that it will help to build self-reliance in communities. It will be incredibly useful for people of all ages and for professionals working with the vulnerable or socially isolated.”

Listings on North Yorkshire Connect are generally non-profit community groups, clubs or organisations, although it also includes activities and things to do. People are able to search either by area, look up specific types of groups or use the category menu.

When the county council project team started work two years ago, the previous directory required more than 1,500 hours of administrative maintenance each year. Designed and developed in consultation with users and customers, North Yorkshire Connect is now far easier to use and maintain and is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Community organisations can set up an account and add their details themselves, but will be prompted to check their listing every six months to make sure information is kept up to date.

County Councillor David Chance, Executive Member for Stronger Communities, said: “We are very fortunate in North Yorkshire to have hundreds of wonderful community groups and organisations helping people to access information, advice and guidance. There are some excellent resources for families and a range of positive activities for young people.

“However, it can be difficult to find information that is trustworthy and up-to-date. What we’ve achieved in launching North Yorkshire Connect is to create an online platform where community groups can make a connection with those who might benefit from their support.”

For more information and to use the new directory, go to www.northyorkshireconnect.org.uk.