Social Telecoms is a leading provider of telecommunications to social housing providers. Digital Inclusion is provided as social value; including Touchscreen KiOSK terminals, Shared Residential Wi-Fi and IT hardware & support.
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Social Impact Statements
The Social Enterprise Mark criteria includes a requirement that the applicant can demonstrate that social and/or environmental objectives are being achieved.
In support of this, new applicants and renewing Mark holders must submit Social Impact Statements that summarise their headline activities and achievements, helping show how they are striving to make a difference and stand up to scrutiny of purpose as a social enterprise.
Updated April 2016
1) Project promoting social inclusion
Access to IT services and training through the Digital Den Project and supporting other community building activities.
Ongoing Internet access through pay as you go Wifi on the Meole Brace Estate to bridge the digital divide for those with low incomes/poor credit histories.
Providing subsidised communications and free IT advice to the Shrewsbury Riverside Social Enterprise Zone, supporting the start up of other social enterprises.
The National Broadband Tariff project with Rooftop Housing Association continues to provide low cost communications and internet access to subscribers.
We have continued to build in Social Value to our commercial contracts wherever possible.
2) Measures of activities
In the year to Feb 2015, 6,782 individuals visited the Digital Den project.
The Meole WiFi scheme has in excess of 60 regular users, ranging from single young people to large families and retired people.
The biggest commercial project of the year was to partner with South Tyneside Homes and South Tyneside Council in a multi-million pound project to update infrastructure at 26 housing schemes across the whole of the South Tyneside area.
As part of the Decent Homes Standard for public housing, South Tyneside Council and South Tyneside Homes (STH) set their own standard for the programme of works - exceeding those set by the Government in some areas. STH, just like most social housing providers, recognised their residents were at a massive disadvantage financially and socially compared to the general population - around 70% of social housing tenants have no Internet access, compared to 27% of the population as a whole. In sheltered and supported housing schemes, residents are less inclined to subscribe to broadband services and invest in the computer hardware to access it.
As part of the Decent Homes Standard and South Tyneside Standard programme to bring the quality of their Housing Plus accommodation up to and beyond the minimum level, STH implemented a programme of improvements to internals covering rewiring, heating systems, kitchens and bathrooms.
STH sought Social Telecoms as the No.1 ranked telecoms framework supplier to partner with them to provide the following services as part of STH Standard programme to 26 Housing Plus locations across the borough:
- Wi-Fi to all Housing Plus apartments
- Communal access touchscreen KiOSK terminals with Smart Noticeboard functionality
- Communal access Windows PC’s with all-in-one printers
- Replacement of Warden Call Telecare systems
- Installation of CCTV surveillance infrastructure
3) Investing in services for the community
Over the course of the year Social Telecoms has invested over £40,000 in the running of the Digital Den, from everyday costs like utilities to providing the staff to run the Den and train clients.
A further £54,000 has been invested in other communities, mainly through the provision of hardware and Digital inclusion funds to client Housing Providers to put towards their own initiatives.