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Circle supports homelessness charity in addressing digital inequality

The Wallich, a Welsh based homelessness charity, operates under three core objectives: getting people off the streets; keeping people off the streets; and creating opportunities for people. They are working to address digital inequality as part of this.

Circle supports homelessness charity in addressing digital inequality

We are proud to support The Wallich as one of our customers. As part of their work, the charity combats people returning to homelessness by providing learning and employment opportunities.

They encourage the people they support to use current skills and gain new ones so they can get back into education, employment or volunteering.

Part of the charity’s goal is to stop the repeat cycle of homelessness through learning and development and much of this is focused on digital inclusivity. Everything we do today can arguably be done online and many organisations have moved more towards this method, making alternatives difficult to access. Over the last 18 months, the world has become even more reliant on technology, so to support The Wallich with their brilliant work we have donated 38 laptops to enable people to access services they would have difficulty using normally.

(Chris, 48, using a laptop at the Wallich Sir Julian Hostel in Cardiff).

From sorting out Universal Credit to applying for a job or housing, digital exclusion is making moving on in your life so much harder for people who have experienced homelessness. That’s why in the first year of the pandemic, we made it a priority to connect around 100 people to Wi-Fi or get them their own device. With an initial donation of 30 laptops, and more to come, this fantastic donation from Circle is helping ensure we can continue to deliver our vital services digitally and help people get the support they need.

Mike Walmsley, Fundraising and Community Engagement Manager at The Wallich

As well as online courses and personal development that will empower people to gain qualifications and skills, the charity will use the laptops to train those they support on other forms of digital literacy. With things like online banking, users will be able to learn how to manage their finances which can be a huge step for them to break the cycle of homelessness. Chris, 48, is a resident and The Wallich Sir Julian Hodge Hostel in Cardiff. He said, “I really wanna learn more about using a computer” and is discussing studying for a driving licence online with his support worker.

Today, even healthcare and mental health services are all accessed online meaning that those who don’t have a laptop or computer may not get the help and support they need. Many would consider being able to speak to a healthcare professional a basic necessity, however for some it is a luxury.

The Wallich has laid out their strategic plans and priorities for the next five years. One of their main priorities is ‘to respond to the needs of the people we support and our staff ensuring equality, diversity and consistency in all services across all parts of Wales.’ By being able to offer the community more online services, The Wallich can continue developing the support to respond to the need. This includes access to services for people in rural or harder to reach places. Having a bank of equipment, which staff can also use, allows The Wallich to guarantee consistency in all services across Wales; providing support those who need it.

Want to know more about The Wallich?

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