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£55k digital poverty fund is launched

The Community Foundation for Northern Ireland is delighted to announce Phase Two of a new partnership with Broadband provider, Fibrus Networks Ltd.

Pictured at the launch in are Kirsty McMullen, Community Foundation for Northern Ireland, David Armstrong, Fibrus, Nicholas McCrickard, County Down Rural Community Network and Gemma Dougherty, Fibrus
Pictured at the launch in are Kirsty McMullen, Community Foundation for Northern Ireland, David Armstrong, Fibrus, Nicholas McCrickard, County Down Rural Community Network and Gemma Dougherty, Fibrus

Phase two, which includes the Portstewart, Portrush, Coleraine, Bushmills and Ballybogey areas, is now open for applications.

This week saw the launch of the second round of the ‘Fibrus Community Fund’ enabling rural communities to stay connected online.

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The fund is aimed at addressing digital poverty and will award grants of £1,000 to enable local groups and organisations, to provide access to digital technology for the most vulnerable.

The fund has a particular focus on supporting grassroots organisations that support older people and young people aged 18 and under. The Fibrus Community Fund is operating in four phases in tandem with Fibrus’ build programme of new hyperfast full fibre broadband.

Marcus Cooper, Fund Development Manager commented on the importance of keeping rural communities connected.

“Coronavirus has highlighted the need for communities to remain connected and many groups and charities working with those most vulnerable in our communities are telling us that a strong and sustainable broadband connection in rural communities is vitally important.

“The pandemic has massively increased our use of technology and it now plays a vital role in our daily lives.

“Our learnings from Covid highlight digital poverty as a major concern in rural areas, negatively impacting isolation and loneliness, especially among young people and older people.

“The Fibrus Community Fund will support those individuals in rural areas and begin to address the digital divide.”

Check out www.communityfoundationni.org