A Birmingham housing association is in the running for a national award for a pioneering Wi-Fi project which has supported older people to get online for the first time.
Bournville Village Trust will compete against three other organisations to scoop the Best Customer Impact Award at the National Housing Maintenance Forum (NHMF) Awards 2015.
The Trust has been shortlisted for a project which saw it use revenue generated from photo-voltaic panels fitted to a sheltered housing scheme to pay for the installation of Wi-Fi. Once the Wi-Fi was fitted, training was offered to the scheme’s residents to support them to use computers, the internet and social media, some for the first time.
Steve Fellows, Head of Asset Management at Bournville Village Trust, said: “Around 14 million people across the UK are described as digitally excluded, with the large majority being older people. This results in many missing out on the range of benefits being able to access services and information online can offer.
“Our project not only achieved ‘something for nothing’, but it has and is continuing to tackle social and digital isolation by supporting people to get online.”
The winners of the awards will be announced at the NHMF Conference and Awards on Tuesday, 20 January, 2015 in Stratford upon Avon.
Bournville Village Trust, established in 1900, is a housing association and charity which manages 8,000 homes and provides services to around 25,000 people across Birmingham and Shropshire.
The National Housing Maintenance Forum is the social housing sector’s leading source of good practice in the fields of maintenance and asset management.