In the words of Thrive CIC, From Thrive’s website here…
When launching Thrive in October 2020 we set out to remove the barrier of digital poverty for young people who are furthest away from the job market. By digitalising our space, it would enable us to connect care-experienced young people with employers, training and other service providers.
We believe digital connectivity plays an important role in combatting feelings of loneliness and isolation experienced by young people; this combined with promoting self-belief and goal setting also reduces the risk of grooming and exploitation.
On our mission to digitalise Thrive we approached local broadband provider Baltic Broadband to see if we could collaborate on providing Wi-Fi for under privileged young people across Liverpool City Region.
During the first lockdown it came to light that thousands of vulnerable people across the UK were struggling to access the internet, Wi-Fi, computers, and laptops. Many communities across Liverpool City Region faced such barriers, especially low-income families and schools without high quality, fast broadband. During such a challenging time when the only way we could stay connected to the world was online it was vital that action was taken to continue education and prevent mental health issues around isolation.
In 2016 Baltic Broadband founded non-for-profit company Liverpool Internet Exchange which works together with its members to help local communities facing issues around digital poverty by providing time and materials.
Throughout lockdown Baltic Broadband joined forces with the Liverpool Internet Exchange members and Liverpool City Council to launch a hugely successful free Wi-Fi service across the city so that home workers, schools, the self-employed, unemployed and the vulnerable could access ultra-fast internet that otherwise may have been completely or partly unavailable with other providers, if any.
Liverpool City Centre, Everton, The Wirral, and parts of Sefton are just some of the areas where thousands of properties benefited from this service.
When Thrive launched in October Baltic Broadband kindly gifted us the installation and usage of Wi-Fi free-of-charge. The equipment installed by Baltic Broadband was donated by a member of the LI Exchange, local business IQ Bar.
We are incredibly grateful to both businesses for providing free Wi-Fi to the young people at Thrive. Baltic Broadband believe that their profit comes from the advantage of seeing young people get the futures they dream of.
Digitalising our project has allowed us to remove the barrier of digital poverty for young people who are furthest away from the job market. Having free has Wi-Fi enabled Thrive to stream daily career sessions, offer secure online activities and support services, whilst providing a dedicated safe environment where young people and support workers can get online.
So far 493 individuals have had free access to Baltic Broadbands Wi-Fi and additionally we have been able to deliver Interactive Careers Sessions to 342 young people.
A huge thank you to Matt and the team at Baltic Broadband.