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Connecting The Community of Kitty’s Launderette

Here at FACTCO we also support local projects with their connectivity. Connectivity can be expensive for a business to run and install, especially for smaller organisations who depend on grants and funding. There has been an increase in community interest companies and social enterprises throughout Liverpool, so we reached out to see how we could help.

Kitty’s Launderette is one of the latest social enterprises that has recently opened its doors in North Liverpool. Run by Liverpool residents, all of their profits are reinvested back into the community, helping to make more good things happen.

They’ve created a community launderette for people to socialise, learn and play whilst they wait for their washing. So, you can understand why we wanted to be involved!

We reached out to Kitty’s Launderette over Twitter and offered them a free network installation and a free internet service for 12 months. The internet connection has provided them with the means to function effectively as a business, powering their tills, allowing card payments to be made and making sure their CCTV is operational.

We wanted to find out more about Kitty’s Launderette, its history and how a powerful internet connection has helped them. We spoke with Grace Harrison who developed the concept of the community Laundrette…“We’d heard about FACTCO and the support that it had given to other community interest companies in Liverpool and knew that they’d be able to support us. “

Where did the idea of Kitty’s Launderette come from?
“The name, Kitty’s Launderette, is in honour of a local historical figure Kitty Wilkinson, who was instrumental in establishing the first public wash house in the country back in 1842, right here in Liverpool. Kitty was instrumental in the movement to open the UK’s first Public Wash House. We’re proud to continue the legacy of the washhouses and launderettes of Liverpool with our little launderette on Grasmere Street.”

How does Kitty’s Launderette support its community?
“Most of the laundrettes left in Liverpool are all run by the same company and are automated, we’ve created a space for people to enjoy and we’ve competitively priced our services to enable the community to access our facilities.”

“We’re reimagining the local amenity by offering affordable ecological services, as well as a space for people to gather, talk and learn. North Liverpool has a strong community spirit that’s shared across generations, we’ve created this space for them.”

The ecological launderette is one of a growing number of community washhouses offering help to those who cannot afford to do their laundry. Grace and her team offer an alternative to people who end up paying over the odds at rent-to-own electricals outlets. Which is also mentioned in their feature in The Guardian – ‘Liverpool community laundrette honours the saint of the slums

How has connectivity impacted your business – does it play a big role in the space?
“Customers have been coming in to hang out, make Skype calls and watch films whilst waiting for their washing. It’s nice to be able to offer them the opportunity to connect to our WiFi. The network has now been live for several months and there have been no issues. The broadband has enabled us to have a fully functioning card and till system as well, which has massively improved our processes.”

“A really great connectivity story was when one of our customers came to visit who has autism and was able to connect to our network and play a game online which they use to help keep calm – this would not have been possible without connectivity.”

Since they opened in May, FACTCO has provided Kitty’s Launderette with a reliable full fibre connection. We hope that this also provides them with the opportunity to host a range of events that enables more and more people to utilise and enjoy a reliable and secure connection.

“It’s always tricky when you reach out for free support, FACTCO were very helpful and provided a great service. We’d definitely recommend them to anyone who is looking for connectivity support to reach out to them.”

Have you visited Kitty’s Launderette? You can find out more about their opening hours, events calendar and services on their website: kittyslaunderette.org.uk

If you’re looking for support with your local project, get in touch. Call us on 0333 305 7560 or email the team at hello@factco.co.uk

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