Central shortlisted in CIH Northern Awards for Horton Housing partnership.

IT specialist Central has been shortlisted for a prestigious housing award for its partnership work with Horton Housing, enabling residents to access WiFi for free during the pandemic.

Central, which is marking 30 years in business this year, has reached the final of the ‘Working in Partnership’ category of the Chartered Institute of Housing’s Northern Awards – a scheme that celebrates excellence across the region’s housing sector.

The impact of Covid-19 has further cemented Greater-Manchester-based Central’s drive to support and use its expertise to give something back to its Northern housing partners. This included working collaboratively with Horton Housing to deliver free WiFi access across its sites – providing residents with online connectivity and enabling them to have a vital support line during one of the most difficult periods in living memory.

Central donated the WiFi hardware required for the implementation and carried out the installation free of charge for Horton Housing’s first pilot site, as well as volunteering ongoing support and maintenance of the access points.

Jo Berry, Central’s co-owner, said: “Our team is really proud to be shortlisted for this prestigious award for our work with Horton Housing. We are committed to making a difference and strive to always go that extra mile for our housing customers.

“As an IT business, we feel we have a corporate social responsibility to ensure that everyone has an internet connection to access crucial online services. We are pleased that our partnership with Horton Housing has enabled this for its residents when they needed it the most.”

Paul Gartland, CEO of Horton Housing, added: “Gaining access to WiFi has been massive for us – Central hasn’t left us out in the cold to get on with things during the pandemic, instead they’ve gone above and beyond, taking more of a partnership approach, which we’re building to our mutual benefit.”

Since its inception in 1991, more than 70% of Central’s 2,000-strong client base have been non-profit organisations in the housing sector, having partnered with customers such as Bron Afon, SOHA, and Horton Housing.

The winners of the Chartered Institute of Housing’s Northern Awards will be announced at a ceremony in Gateshead on November 18.

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