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MHA Moore and Smalley supports digital inclusion in the Merseyside region

MHA Moore and Smalley is working with a Merseyside based Voluntary, Community, Faith and Social Enterprise Sector (VCFSE) consortium to support digital inclusion in the Liverpool City Region.

VOLA is a collaboration of VCSFE organisations in the Liverpool City Region who offer support in relation to learning, skills and employment opportunities across the region, whilst also providing cooperation and partnership opportunities between the organisations.

VOLA was originally established in 2007 and over the years they have supported more than 11,000 disadvantaged and/or disengaged learners to develop their knowledge, skills and confidence and supporting them to progress in learning and employment.

MHA Moore and Smalley has worked with VOLA to donate more than 80 pieces of IT equipment including desktop and laptop computers, and monitors.

Danny Houghton, the firms’ ESG societal impact partner who is based within our Liverpool office said:

“MHA Moore and Smalley is passionate about “reuse, recycle and repurpose” and it is great to see this IT equipment being repurposed and redistributed within the local community.

“The work of VOLA is very much aligned with MHA Moore and Smalley’s ESG strategy in that by recycling existing IT equipment we are not only reducing waste, but we are also positively impacting communities and hard to reach groups by working with VOLA who can help us to reach these groups.

“From a Governance perspective working with VOLA is aligned with our vision of working with key stakeholders who share our values for positive change.”

The firm became aware of the work of VOLA through our partnership with Community Foundation for Merseyside (CFM), who have provided vital funding to the organisation over the years.

By marrying MHA Moore and Smalley with projects like VOLA’s digital inclusion programme, CFM are helping the firm achieve their commitment to improving access to education for the next generation and to reducing unnecessary contributions to landfill, as part of our ESG strategy.

Over the last seven years, VOLA has developed an increasing role in the digital inclusion space, spearheaded by their Include-IT Mersey project.

The project has supported more than 2,100 digitally excluded individuals to develop basic digital skills and get online. 52% of those participants have progressed to work, active job-search, or further training.

Building on this project, VOLA have increasingly worked closely with the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority to help inform and influence their digital inclusion strategy.

The groups of people who benefit from the work of VOLA and the generous donations they receive include:

  • Learners on their digital skills training programme
  • Local community hubs, advice centres and training organisations
  • A welcome centre for Ukrainian refugees
  • Service users of a local community-based Macmillan cancer support service

Stuart McGrory, consortium manager at VOLA, said:

“MHA Moore and Smalley’s incredibly generous donation of PCs and laptops will further support our important work in helping to improve digital inclusion across the Liverpool City Region and is a fantastic example of the social value that businesses in the region can bring to local people.

“Once set up, some of the donated equipment will be loaned to our learners and consortium members and some – particularly the PCs – will be gifted to partner charities and community groups to help support their service users.

Stuart Seed, Technology and Software Director, MHA Moore and Smalley, said: “In total we donated more than 80 pieces of IT equipment which will now be repurposed and redistributed across the Liverpool City Region.

“This is something that is incredibly important to the firm to ensure that we are supporting our local communities where we are based.

“I was delighted to meet Stuart and his team, and it was great to learn how this equipment will help increase digital inclusion amongst people who may not typically have easy access.”