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Bournville Village Trust has been presented with a national award for its work in helping older people to get online for the first time.

The Trust beat three other shortlisted organisations to win the Best Customer Impact Award at the National Housing Maintenance Forum (NHMF) Awards 2015.

It had been shortlisted for a project which used revenue from photo-voltaic panels fitted to a sheltered housing scheme to pay for the installation of Wi-Fi and its ongoing maintenance.

Once the Wi-Fi was fitted, staff volunteered to train residents to use computers, the internet and social media – some for the first time.

Steve Fellows, Head of Asset Management at Bournville Village Trust, said: “There are millions of people, the majority of them older, up and down the country who don’t use computers or the internet.

“This means that they miss out on everything from saving money to talking to family who live further afield.

“Installing Wi-Fi and providing training is our way of trying to tackle the issue and ensure that older residents aren’t digitally excluded. It’s fantastic to be recognised for this work with a national award.”

The winners of the awards were 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.

 

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