Staff at Milton Keynes Community Foundation (MKCF) have been able to work remotely with ease during lockdown thanks to investment in state-of-the-art digital technology.  

A leading charity in Milton Keynes has been able to continue funding vital projects which support vulnerable, isolated and disadvantaged people in the city during lockdown thanks to its decision to invest in cutting-edge digital technology.

Milton Keynes Community Foundation (MKCF) has provided more than £500,000 of support to voluntary, community and cultural sector groups across the city since March through its Covid-19 Milton Keynes Emergency Response Appeal Fund.

That has been made possible due to full fibre digital technology, which allowed the organisation to store its data in the cloud, making it easy for MKCF staff to access files while working remotely as a result of Covid-19. It has also made it easier to share files with independent panel members. At the start of the pandemic, the panel was meeting twice a week to help process the demand for funds.

The charity relies on people and organisations hiring space at Acorn House, its city centre base, to fund its vital work in the community. Poor connectivity put that at risk, while there were a host of other issues including decreased productivity, reduced ability for staff to work from home and rising tenant unhappiness. 

As a result, MKCF opted to partner with CityFibre, the UK’s third national digital infrastructure platform, which is working to extend its full fibre network across the city, and KEE Services in 2019 to equip their building with Gigabit-speed connectivity.

Ian Revell, Chief Executive of Milton Keynes Community Foundation, said: “Improving our connectivity was the best decision we could possibly have made as an organisation. Having a fast and reliable connection allowed us to shift everything into the cloud, making us far more mobile.

“There was a lot of uncertainty in March when we all had to start working from home – we were worried it could impact our ability to fund projects across the city. However, staff found it easy to access everything they needed and we’ve been able to keep momentum going and continue to support some fantastic causes.”

CityFibre is currently delivering the roll out of Milton Keynes’ city-wide full fibre network as part of its £4billion Gigabit City Investment Programme. 

In Milton Keynes, CityFibre is investing £40 million to ensure almost every home, business and public service has access to high capacity, gigabit capable connectivity that will future proof the city’s digital capabilities. Work on the network has been ongoing since early 2018 and is almost complete.

Jean Gowin, CityFibre’s City Manager for Milton Keynesadded: “Access to gigabit-speed connectivity has the power to truly transform the lives of people across Milton Keynes, bringing massive benefits to communities while helping to grow a more resilient and dynamic local economy.  

MKCF does brilliant work in our city and it is great news that our Full Fibre network has made it easy for them to continue that work during lockdown, whilst ensuring remote working is also feasible.

“The network we are building is having a transformative impact on MKCF and it is the same across the rest of the city, with households and businesses able to reap the benefits of full fibre connectivity. This infrastructure will continue to power the city for decades to come.”

To donate to the Covid-19 MK Emergency Recovery Fund, visit www.mkcommunityfoundation.co.uk 
To find out more about CityFibre’s Gigabit City roll-out, visit: 
www.cityfibre.com/gigabit-cities/ 

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