Local Charity and Telecommunications company form partnership to deliver Tech4Kids across Northamptonshire.
Northamptonshire Community Foundation is working in partnership with Dallington-based telecommunications company Guru Technology to reduce digital exclusion in children and families during lockdown through the new Tech4Kids initiative.
The Foundation is the leading grant-making charity in the county, who last year delivered over £2 million in funding to support local communities across Northamptonshire. They have pledged £20,000 to support Guru Technology in their bid to support children and families whilst they are trying to access online learning during lockdown.
The Foundation is working alongside Arran Kirton, Director at Guru Technology, who earlier this week pledged £25,000 of free technology to help disadvantaged families with little or no access to laptops, iPads and the internet.
According to a report published by the Office for National Statistics in 2018, 700,000 children aged between 11 and 18 years reported having no internet access at home from a computer or tablet, with a further 60,000 reporting they have no internet access at home at all. Digital exclusion is yet another aspect of inequality recognised on a national scale, with the current public health crisis only adding to the problem.
A Just Giving page has been set up to encourage other businesses and individuals to support the initiative to enable a bigger pot of funding to reduce digital exclusion and provide more technology to pupils in Northamptonshire.
Victoria Miles DL, CEO of Northamptonshire Community Foundation, said: “It was timely, we were discussing with our grants team the need in our communities for digital inclusion, particularly for school children and families on a low income and we were able to find some funds from the Fair Deal for Kids fund to help kick start a campaign. I then read the story in the Chronicle and Echo about Arran’s pledged support, so I got in touch to see if we could work in partnership to encourage others to give more.”
Fair Deal for Kids was originally a campaign set up by the Foundation and the Chronicle and Echo to help children in poverty. This is an extremely worthwhile way to allocate those funds to enable children to access their online learning while schools are shut for the majority of pupils.
Arran Kirton is delighted with this new partnership and added: “We started the Tech4Kids initiative first and foremost because our business deals in telephony and communications and clearly that is what’s lacking in the UK right now. With 12/14% of children unable to home school because of a tech issue, it was our duty to step forwards and try and create awareness and donations to help as many families and businesses as possible operate and collaborate during these challenging times. As a company, we pride ourselves on being different in the market and we hope that the start of Tech4Kids is the embodiment of our companies dreams and ambitions to change people’s lives.”
Last year, Northamptonshire Community Foundation made a commitment to adopt the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) into its charitable activity. The Tech4Kids initiative demonstrates this commitment, aligning with their work towards eliminating poverty and supporting quality education across Northamptonshire (UN SDG 1 and 4 respectively.)
If you would like to contribute to the Tech4Kids appeal, please visit: https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/tech4kids