Charities share £400,000 in digital inclusion funding

Charities supporting domestic abuse survivors, refugees, and people at risk of homelessness are to share £400,000 of digital inclusion grants

The recipients of the Tech Lending Community Fund, which launched earlier this year, include Refuge, Leeds Refugee Forum and Scotland based homeless charity Willowacre Trust.

Also receiving funding is emergency housing charity Thames Reach and London based Kurdish and Middle Easter Women’s Organisation, which supports domestic abuse survivors.

The Fund has been set up by environmental charity Hubbub and Virgin Media O2t to make tablets and data available to vulnerable people facing digital exclusion. A focus is on lending used tablets to residents in temporary accommodation.

Grants handed out are between £55,000 and £83,000 to provide more than 1,000 tablets to the charities’ beneficiaries. Each is powered by free mobile data via the National Databank, which has been set up by Virgin Media O2 and digital inclusion charity Good Things Foundation.

Addition funding is also provided by Amazon to support the running costs of the lending of equipment.

“This unique community lending scheme has two key benefits: it allows people at their most vulnerable to access essential services and stay in touch with loved ones, and it also tackles e-waste by giving another life to unwanted tablets and diverting them from ending up in landfill or incineration,” said Hubbub chief executive Alex Robinson.

“We look forward to supporting these wonderful charities with resources and guidance as they roll out their programmes, as well as witnessing the impact the tablets will have on the beneficiaries.”

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