Press Release

Wifinity, an ultrafast wireless broadband provider, today celebrates the success of its annual “Good Connections” challenge. The company connected the whole of YMCA Ealing to its wireless network in one day, enabling its residents to have access to free WiFi as soon as they walk into the building.

Wifinity started its “Good Connections” initiative in 2017 in lieu of a Christmas party, with support from its staff who wanted to invest resources and time to a more charitable cause. Each year in December the company allocate a date for its whole company to participate in teams to install, test and launch a wireless network in a sheltered accommodation to enable the residents to access the Internet for free and stay connected.

In previous years Wifinity has connected four homeless shelters in Kingston and in 2018, it connected the YMCA Surbiton branch.

The 2019 “Good Connections” challenge in YMCA South Ealing was also a resounding success, with the company investing over £90,000 across man-hours, equipment, ongoing maintenance for life and customer support. The 50 staff members divided into 8 teams and started the challenge at 7am. Tasks included arranging the logistics for WiFi installation across 151 bedrooms and communal areas, hardware installation, software testing, Quality control, Resident outreach and support, communications and much more. This year, our partner Cambium Networks, donated the hardware, necessary for the installation.

By 7pm the WiFi went live and all staff and residents could access Wifinity’s wireless network for free, surfing the web both in their rooms and in the recreational areas.

The YMCA South Ealing offers a supported housing scheme, where both accommodation and support are provided as an all-in-one package. Its community hub provides targeted and universal support to single people age 16 and above who find themselves in need of housing, individuals who are vulnerable and/or at risk, people living with mental illness, learning disabilities or recovering from substance misuse and people who are fleeing domestic violence. Previously there was no WiFi in either the communal areas or in the bedrooms.

Kerry Oldfield-Spence, YMCA South Ealing: “Having no access to the Internet can lead to unintentional social exclusion – many residents have smartphones and tablets, but cannot afford monthly contracts, so become digitally excluded; unable to access potential job opportunities, state benefits and their loved ones at a time when they need them most. The benefits of Wifinity’s gift cannot be understated and will make a huge difference to the quality of our resident’s lives. Already we have a resident excited about signing up to an online education course and others talking about the value of being able to contact a wider support network.”

Mark Parry, CEO, Wifinity: “It’s easy to get lost in the festive season and forget the true meaning of Christmas, which is thinking of others and giving something back. Our staff’s enthusiasm and passion for our “Good Connections” scheme is incredibly heartening. It builds team spirit and gives employees the chance to contribute in a very tangible and personal way.

“There are also business benefits – it enables staff to see first-hand how our product can change lives and for employees in departments like finance and sales to get hands-on with the tech, should they be picked for helping in the installation team. We look forward to continuing this collaboration with the YMCA for many years to come.”