Valley House have access to a number of safe properties, but none of these properties have internet connectivity, the Valley House Internet Pilot aims to change that.
Not having access to the internet resulted in service users having to use phones and unaffordable data which often led to them being excluded from a range of activities such as accessing online health appointments, benefits, foodbank applications, housing bidding and social activities.
To provide reliable, affordable and accessible connectivity to service users Covconnects supported Valley House to enter into a 6-month pilot using a loaned Get Box device from the UK based charity called Jangala
Coveconnects and Coventry City Council have also provided free data and devices such as laptops where need is identified and cannot be supported by Valley House.
The internet boxes have been distributed to a range of service users including families with young children (0-12), families with older children (secondary school/college age) and single people.
Staff supported with the set-up, which was very easy to do, and the internet boxes were installed with Data Bank sim cards with instant results on phones and other devices.
Service users are now able to access electronic appointment systems with various agencies, are more able to have TEAMS or Zoom meetings for education/training/health/benefits and they are benefiting financially from the internet box and free sim.
Service users also use the internet to socialise and watch entertainment, which is a benefit to the children.
Feedback from Service Users:
‘I don’t know how I managed without it, its Great’
‘I can do my schoolwork at home now’
‘I am saving at least £10.00 per week which can now go on food’
Valley House will be monitoring the use/benefits and safety of the internet boxes by doing pre and post surveys with service users and case studies and regular meetings are happening with Covconnects to progress the pilot and manage any issues.
Covconnects will share impacts and learnings from the pilot across partners, with the hope that they can find longer term sustainable solutions for digital exclusion within the sector, to ensure digital inequalities are reduced.