‘Better Connected’, Our digital access project
Our Better Connected project is led by WECC in partnership with Vodafone and currently consists of offering residents (with at least one child aged 16 or under if Everton household is eligible for free school meals and/or Council Tax Support or is a refugee/asylum seeker with no recourse to public funds,) with free sim cards
West Everton Community Council (WECC) launched an initiative in partnership with Vodafone to provide laptops and connectivity to those that needed it, a need that was more apparent with the forced closure of schools across the UK during Covid 19.
Currently the programme was set to last for six months, but could be extended depending on how successful it was.
The pandemic resulted in a lot of services, classes and meet ups being solely online, and for low income households, without the devices or connectivity they needed was a struggle.
The ‘Better Connected’ programme provides connectivity – via mobile Wi-Fi hotspots and Unlimited data SIM cards – to 250 families.
It was available across multiple devices, enabling the whole family to access schoolwork and the internet, Vodafone has also donated 20 laptops to WECC to loan out to the families across Everton, Liverpool.
Cllr Jane Corbett, Liverpool’s Deputy Mayor said: “Even before lockdown, many families were struggling to meet basic needs such as food, fuel and household internet.
“Once schools closed, there was an urgent need to ensure every child could continue to access their education.
“Together, with trusted partners we are making this happen and to build a fairer future for all our children.”