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COVID-19 support: Libertie Project

Business challenge

The COVID-19 outbreak has proven to be an immense challenge for communities across the country, particularly those that were already in greatest need. Across the country there has been a huge increase in demand with a shortage in essentials such as food, clothing and tech and an increase in demand as a result of national lockdowns. 

The announcement of national lockdowns in the spring also created a new challenge for those with limited access to technology. The internet has become increasingly more important with people shielding and self-isolating.  However, in the Scottish Highlands, 38% are without access to the internet in their homes. 

Quote from Libby – CEO @ Liberty Project

“Digital exclusion is a massive problem for Scotland’s most vulnerable communities, and Covid-19 has highlighted how isolating a lack of internet connection is.  So much of life takes place online these days that an internet connection is really a human connection – and in many cases it’s the only contact that some people have.”

The COVID-19 outbreak has proven to be an immense challenge for communities across the country, particularly those that were already in greatest need. Across the country there has been a huge increase in demand with a shortage in essentials such as food, clothing and tech and an increase in demand as a result of national lockdowns. 

The announcement of national lockdowns in the spring also created a new challenge for those with limited access to technology. The internet has become increasingly more important with people shielding and self-isolating.  However, in the Scottish Highlands, 38% are without access to the internet in their homes. 

Digital exclusion is a massive problem for Scotland’s most vulnerable communities, and Covid-19 has highlighted how isolating a lack of internet connection is.  So much of life takes place online these days that an internet connection is really a human connection – and in many cases it’s the only contact that some people have.

CEO @ Liberty Project

Solution

Business in the Community connected Level 5 with the Libertie Project which has, thanks to the support provided, been able to successfully connect 150 homes to the internet helping those at risk of extreme isolations in northern Scotland.

The following was involved: 

  • We worked alongside the CEO gathering an understanding of the organisations vision and purpose to create alignment.
  • Analysis of risks, and pain points determined what challenges we need to overcome as a team, in order to deliver connectivity to vulnerable people in the highlands
  • Project management and guidance on how to provide training remotely to those with new devices, and have no experience with technology
  • Communication process management for internal/external stakeholders, including support requests, and helplines for vulnerable individuals/families
  • Website revamp, meeting accessibility guidelines that provides information and latest updates from the Libertie Project.

Each device was loaded with useful web links such as NHS, Highland Council, BBC news and AbilityNet if they needed support using their new devices. We also loaded up useful apps such as Microsoft Teams, Teamviewer, Google Translate, Goaco, my EE, video calling apps such as skype or zoom, and others depending on the recipient’s needs.

For those with no home internet access each device also came with a sim card with 6gb of data. 

The team activated the sim so that the recipients could get online as soon as possible and stay connected with friends and family.


Visit: https://www.libertie.co.uk/

Results

The project has also given 17,250 GB of data to 500 children to get online using mobile broadband.

The devices including 30 smartphones, 40 Chromebooks, 85 MiFi tablets and 75 WiFi tablets  and data were provided to children, elder people, families, domestic victims and people in the travelling community to deal with the pandemic’s impact.

Rapidly scaled Libertie Project remotely, during a lockdown, nationwide.

Successfully connected 150+ homes to the internet helping those at risk of extreme isolations in northern Scotland.Successfully connected 150+ homes to the internet helping those at risk of extreme isolations in northern Scotland.

Funding received from many sources including Good Things Foundation, BT, SCVO, National Emergencies Trust and Firstport.

This case study has been featured in various news channels and publications in the UK.

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