Success Story Timeline



# Year Achievement
1 1986 The Association was the first community organisation in Hartlepool to form a partnership with Hartlepool College of Further Education to provide previously excluded groups with courses on an outreach basis. This partnership continues today and assists over 300 people a year to access opportunities.
2 1987 The Association received funding from the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education through their 'Replan initiative', to establish a learning centre as a model for local learning, the success of which enabled the establishment of community based learning centres throughout the UK.
3 1989 OFCA were the first voluntary organisation in Tees Valley, to appoint an Enterprise Development Officer, to raise awareness in self-employment and support local people to successfully run their own business. The enterprise services offered by the Association have been recognised as a mechanism to aid in the economic regeneration of disadvantaged communities.
4 1990 OFCA established the first Credit Union in Hartlepool at a time when there was only one other in the whole county of Cleveland. The scheme now operates throughout Hartlepool providing low-income families with the opportunity to save and borrow at competitive rates, reducing their dependence on loan sharks.
5 1992 OFCA was the first voluntary organisation to access European funds in the former Cleveland County authority, encouraging, enabling and assisting other community voluntary organisations to access funding to provide quality services. Community/Voluntary organisations in Hartlepool are now recognised by Government Office North East as important stakeholders in disadvantaged communities and have so far allocated over £4 million from Objective 2 structural funds. These have been used to develop initiatives to aid regeneration.
6 1995 The organisation was the first to recognise the importance of ICT and a Computer Access Project, which was officially opened by Peter Mandelson. Most new community centres now incorporate a computer suite in their building.
7 1996 The Association gained awards for workforce development with staff picking up National, European, Regional and Local Award’s during Adult Learners Week.
8 1999 The organisation gained Investors in People, a nationally recognised award for commitment to training and benchmarking.
9 2001 The Association successfully gained IIP re-recognition.
10 2002 OFCA gained the Guidance Accreditation Board Standards national recognition for quality delivery of Information, Advice and Guidance and is a founding member of the IAG Network.
11 2003 OFCA successfully gained NIACE funding, to operate a Wireless Outreach Network, which will provide laptops to the hardest to reach groups
12 2004 OFCA successfully gained the new GAB Matrix standard and was the only voluntary organisation in Tees Valley to gain both internal and external accreditation
13 2005 OFCA working in partnership with Hewitt Packard provided an online arts forum the only one in the Northeast
14 2006 OFCA established a new social enterprise called Visual Media Lab, a company that offers high quality marketing and publicity services.
15 2005/2006 OFCA successfully gained the reaccredidation of the GAB Matrix standard both internal and external accreditation.