Wirral Ark to deliver new digital inclusion project

We are delighted to announce that we have received funding for a brand new digital inclusion project that will provide access to IT equipment and broadband access to some of our most vulnerable clients.

Wirral Ark has received sizeable funding from the National Lottery Community fund and an initiative called ‘Thrive’. Thrive will benefit homeless people who are resident in our 11 supported accommodation projects in Wirral.

With funding, each of the 68 units of our accommodation projects will have access to Wi-Fi and personal equipment to access the internet either in the form of a laptop or tablet. This will make a huge difference to the lives of our clients and will to open up a whole new world of communication and information that they have struggled to access.

This is of even more importance considering the global pandemic and the restrictions this has placed on all of our lives. However, these restrictions are felt even more keenly by those who are vulnerable and have little opportunity for socialisation.

This new IT project will provide a facility for people to manage their own lives, give them the ability to receive online support from their key workers for their support needs, access GP services and remote consultations, order goods and basic supplies, social networking, and take more control over their lives. 

Impact of Covid-19 restrictions

Covid-19 has changed overnight the way we have to operate and deliver our services to people experiencing homelessness. This has had a significant effect on the whole homelessness charity sector and presented profound challenges to people experiencing homelessness.

Support for our clients has either been removed, reduced or moved online. Lockdown measures have meant a significant shift to digital methods of communication.  Digital adaptions to support services have left our clients facing even more barriers and exclusion as they cannot register with services without digital access or download an app without equipment such as phones or tablets. 

As an organisation dedicated to supporting homeless people, our staff have worked tirelessly to continue support services and have been innovative in the ways they have achieved this. The Thrive digital inclusion project is another great example of finding ways to not only continue vital support but also expand the provisions available.

Without digital equipment and infrastructure our clients would not be able to access support and local services which have now gone online. That is why we are hugely grateful to the Thrive project and the National Lottery Community fund for providing the financial backing to deliver such an essential project.

Ways you can help

We would also like to say a massive thank you to Jan Jones who kindly donated a computer desktop table and swivel chair. We are in need of 5 more sets of these so if you’re interested in supporting us deliver our new IT project then please get in touch with Pauline Cox at our fundraising team – fundraising@wirralark.org.uk.