The National House Project is a charity that works with local authorities to support young people within those local authorities to leave care and live fulfilling lives.

One of my roles at the National House Project is to support a group of young people who are called Care Leavers National Movement. They come together every six weeks and talk about some of the challenges that they’re facing within their local authorities, and some of the best practice that’s happening within their local authorities, in particular within their local house projects that they are working and living within.

About two years ago, they came together to discuss how challenging not being connected to the Internet was. And that was in terms of lack of connection, lack of resource and lack of understanding sometimes to how to navigate the digital world in terms of accessing services online and applying for jobs online, upload in information online like CVS and that kind of thing.

And so the young people talked about how we could work together to do something about that. We got in touch with lots of various people from Catch 22, Digital Poverty Alliance, the Learning Foundation. We write to government around what these challenges look tough out like for young people and did lots of things over the course the last two years.

And some of those things were partnering with the Learning Foundation and Digital Poverty Alliance to make sure that all 14 house projects that we work with all had laptops so that young people that are part of that local house project could have access to laptops and connectivity when they were struggling.

When young people come together as part of Care Leavers National Movement to have their regional meetings, they discuss ways in which they’re struggling in life. And one of those ways was actually two years ago, really struggling with being excluded from this digital society. And that wasn’t fair and it’s not right. We worked in lots of different ways to ensure that young people that we work with aren’t excluded. Actually, they worked really hard as well.

The Learning Foundation and Digital Poverty Alliance donated 44 laptops that have gone to 14 bases across England and Scotland. Those 44 laptops now support over 400 young people who are in care or leaving care that the National House Project now supports to live fulfilling lives. And part of living a fulfilling life is to be digitally connected. That’s part of our life now that we all have a right to live.

Hi, my name is Jessica and I’m a House Project Facilitator at Manchester and Trafford House Project. Digital Poverty is absolutely crucial in today’s day and age in terms of technology. And to me it means that our young people don’t have access to the digital technologies – things likes mobile phones, laptops, access to Internet that they really should have today.

All the donations have helped massively. The donation of the four laptops that we have received has been absolutely imperative to our young people being able to access the House Project programme, uploading their evidence on to the HBP so that we can really evidence independent skills and everything throughout the House Project journey.

It’s been crucial to them looking for jobs, completing interviews and everything that you can expect you’d need a laptop for. It’s been lucky to have it here our base, giving people the space to come in and log on and really get connected with everything that they would need to be connected with, such as interviews.

The House Project journey has really made their journey a lot more positive and a lot more streamlined because they are connected and they’re able to have the option to access the Internet, access these laptops and get connected and used to the Internet because it’s ever changing.