Grants of up to £120,000 available to charities to tackle digital exclusion

A £400,000 fund has launched to help charities and other organisations to tackle digital exclusion and improve vulnerable people’s access to tablets.

The Tech Lending Community Fund is being launched by the charity Hubbub in partnership with Virgin Media O2 to make tablet and data available to organisations supporting groups including refugees, those impacted by homelessness and women’s refuges residents.

One off start-up grants of between £50,000 and £120,000 are on offer to set up Tech Lending Hubs. This will see tablets loaned to residents in temporary accommodation.

“Successful applicants will need to demonstrate that they will be actively collaborating with community groups to ensure that the provision of a tablet loaning service will have a transformative impact,” according to the Fund.

Charities, councils and social enterprises are urged to apply by 1 March.

“In an increasingly digital world, we know how important it is to help people get connected,” said Virgin Media O2 head of sustainability Tracey Herald.

“For those in temporary accommodation, connectivity is a lifeline - helping them stay connected to loved ones and accessing essential online services, from healthcare to applying for a job.

“That’s why we’re building on our partnership with Hubbub by launching the Tech Lending Community Fund to create community lending schemes across the UK that offer devices and data to those who need it most.

“The scheme supports people and planet - connecting the disconnected and giving old devices a new lease of life, helping to prevent e-waste.”

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