Bridging the digital gap for mums and their children

Thelma Brown Cottage provides families escaping domestic violence and family abuse access to accommodation that is safe and comfortable. Thelma Brown Cottage approached the Mercy Foundation for funding under our Social Justice Small Grants program earlier this year, to help fund computers, modems and internet access in each apartment within Thelma Brown Cottage. At the time of applying for the grant, there was one computer on site for families to use, which was kept in the Service Manager’s office.

The pandemic has revealed how necessary it is to have access to the internet. Access to computers and the internet enabled mothers to look and apply for jobs online, to apply for private rental, to make appointments online and stay connected with friends and family. It enabled children to study from their accommodation and learn online when needed.

Leaving home to escape family violence is traumatising for mothers and their children. Offering families free access to the internet helps lessen the disruption to their lives. They can stay connected to their friends and continue to have access to the digital world.

The staff at Thelma Brown Cottage estimate that this grant may help as many as 600 people  per year.

“Every single family that enters the service asks, do you have Wi-Fi? Usually I say no, today I can say yes”.