Mark Aspin Head of Adult Safety, Neighborhoods and Prevention; Cllr Phil Riley, Tara Murray, Digital Inclusion Manager and Simon Holmes of 6G Internet (Image: LT)
Temporary accommodation intended to support vulnerable groups is to get free high speed internet access.
The 10 self-contained pods provide emergency shelter for those who may have nowhere to live. The pods opened at the height of the Covid pandemic in December 2020 and are based on the former site of the Shadsworth Leisure Centre.
Broadband provider 6G Internet serving Blackburn and surrounding towns has now announced that they will install free internet at the row of pods.
The company said it had run a region-wide campaign to end “digital exclusion” and is donating 20% of their network for free to a range of charities.
Digital Inclusion Manager Tara Murray said: “We have always been keen to support community and charitable initiatives in the areas we serve and felt that internet access was of paramount importance to residents here.
“The pods provide people with a lifeline and we wanted to make sure they have access to all the services they need.
“At 6G Internet, we are proud to be able to do our part to support community groups and projects that go the extra mile to help the most vulnerable people in society.”
Residents have access to everything the council and key agencies have to offer to improve their conditions with the aim of being supported in the long term in finding safe and independent accommodation and getting all the addiction or mental health help they need need if they choose to accept it.
Blackburn and Darwen Council, who now run the pods, said the partnership would give people access to services many other residents take for granted.
Blackburn leader with Darwen Borough Council, Cllr Phil Riley said: “This is a great initiative and a really nice offer that will really help the people currently living in the pods.
“Having access to the internet contributes to the process of normalizing their lives and we know that if there is no access to the internet you cannot connect with the outside world on a digital level.
“The internet gives those living in the shelters the opportunity to go online and access the relevant documents, learn new skills and send emails to help them on their way to improving their lives.”
More information about the ‘Internet for all’ campaign can be found here