Good connections, free WiFi at YMCA

Written by Sofia Gunnarsson  —  on 11th February 2019.

Wifinity’s “Good Connections” returned, Providing Connectivity to the vulnerable and homeless in YMCA Surbiton.

Last Year, we cancelled our Christmas party, and used the funds to provide secure, fast and unlimited WiFi to isolated and necessitous individuals and families across 4 homeless shelters in Kingston, our local community. And thus, “Good Connections” was born, a programme designed to impact the lives of the most vulnerable by providing them with a free WiFi service, thus helping to improve their everyday life and make their situation more bearable.

After last year’s massive success, « Good Connections » returned this year, and our goal was to connect even more bedrooms, and help improve even more lives. Last Tuesday, 18th December 2018, our entire Wifinity team was at the YMCA in Surbiton, installing WiFi in 127 bedrooms and throughout all the communal areas. The challenge was to do this in under 12 hours, and with the entire company coming together, we achieved this!

The YMCA Surbiton offers a supported housing scheme, where both accommodation and support are provided as an all-in-one package. The scheme is designed to help people develop in all aspects of their life: mind, body and spirit, with a particular focus on social inclusion, consequently enabling people to live independently within their community. This Community Hub thus provides targeted and universal support to single people age 16 and above who find themselves in need of housing, individuals who are vulnerable and/or at risk, people living with mental illness, learning disabilities or recovering from substance misuse and people who are fleeing domestic violence.

The Surbiton hostel has 127 rooms in total, three of which are accessible to all and six which are double rooms allocated for emergency referrals to accommodate families. Until now, there was no WiFi in either the communal areas or in bedrooms, meaning that it was hard for the occupants to stay connected with the outside world. Because of this, they found themselves cut off from their education, potential job opportunities and their loved ones at a time when they needed them most. Last Tuesday this all changed for them!

Mark Parry, Wifinity CEO, is proud that Wifinity is contributing to improving the lives of local individuals in need: “We all feel like we are truly making a positive impact on people’s lives. A great sense of pride can be felt throughout the company and I am sure this will stay with everyone on the team for a very long time”.

“Good Connections” is primarily about giving back to the local community. However, it is also a great team challenge, building team spirit, bringing together employees from all verticals within the business, getting to know colleagues and working together for a common goal. According to Mark, teams really embraced the challenge and united as one: “This year again, the challenge had a great impact on our team. Everyone felt energised and united, and lucky to be contributing to such a great cause! The office is buzzing this week!”.

We could never have achieved this success without our partners. Ruckus, our hardware partner, donated valuable Access Points, to help us get the YMCA online! A massive thank you to all involved!


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