£5,000 boost for social housing customers to get online

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

WM residents are benefiting from a £5,000 boost to help them get online, thanks to a partnership with a social enterprise.

WM Housing Group, which manages 28,000 homes across the region, has signed a contract with Social Telecoms to provide mobile phones for the business and help with their digital inclusion strategy. 

As part of the new partnership Social Telecoms has donated £5,000 towards WM’s digital inclusion project, to help its customers get online by using kiosk computer terminals in the group’s offices in Coventry, Birmingham, Hereford, and Worcester.

The kiosks will be a place where residents can surf the internet and use it to pay bills and access online accounts securely. The donation will also help towards installing Wi-Fi across all its offices and helping more residents access home broadband.

Ian Tinsley, director of ICT at WM Housing, said: “We are delighted to be working with Social Telecoms. The company’s status as a social enterprise means that it shares many of our own values and fits in with what we are trying to achieve as an organisation.

“With changes to the welfare benefits system, customers will need to access the internet to claim Universal Credit, which is the new single monthly benefit payment that many customers will receive. We are committed to supporting them to have access to computers and Wi-Fi to be able to do this, and this money will enable us to dramatically improve the services we offer.”

Rob Mottram, business development manager at Social Telecoms, said: “We understand that with the introduction of Universal Credit it is more important than ever that housing providers help their residents to get online. We are delighted to be able to help WM Housing with this through our partnership.”

The two-year contract between WM Housing Group and Social Telecoms begins in March. Social Telecoms will provide mobile phone handsets for staff across the four housing associations, Whitefriars Housing, Optima Community Housing, Kemble Housing and Nexus Housing, which make up the WM Housing Group.

A social enterprise is a business with social objectives whose surpluses are reinvested for that purpose in the business or in the community, rather than being driven by the need to maximise profit for shareholders and owners.

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