The Digital Poverty Alliance, one year on… has grown to 570 community members, built a definitive evidence base, and distributed 1,650 devices to schools in need.
The Digital Poverty Alliance (DPA), a charitable initiative representing a broad coalition of third, public and private sector partners working to end digital poverty by the year 2030, today celebrates one year since its launch.
The anniversary was celebrated in-person at Brands Hatch in Kent, alongside its trustees, community board members, DPA Ambassadors and corporate partners. The event, kindly sponsored by We Are Digital, included speeches from communities supporting digital inclusion including Moira Thomas, Director of Group Sustainability and ESG at Currys plc, Sally Caughey, Head of Digital Inclusion at CapGemini and Rev Gail Thompson, Founder, Millennium Community Solutions.
Today, the DPA also launched a One Year On report, outlining some of its key successes to date. The report revealed that, in the last year, the DPA has grown to 570 Community Hub Members, it has gained 62 Ambassadors, and it has established and developed several key partnerships with Currys, The Institute of Engineering and Technology, Intel and Barclays.
DPA’s initial focus was on building the evidence base so that they could advocate for the right policy solutions to end digital poverty once and for all. In June this year, they launched the landmark UK Evidence Review 2022 at the House of Lords. The Evidence Review, for the first time, unveiled the state of digital poverty in the UK and called for more action from national bodies and local communities. It concluded that widening differences in connection, devices, skills and experiences play a crucial role in creating and exacerbating inequalities and social divisions across the country.
Alongside pushing for sustainable change, the DPA works to support those who need help now. As part of that, they’ve distributed 1,650 devices, such as laptops, to staff and teachers in schools that need them, as part of its Tech4Teachers initiative. They are also working with Currys to help families who need a laptop to get one through its Tech4Families project, which has so far received 2,000 applications. Alongside a range of partners, they’re also actively supporting 25 young prison leavers with technology access and support, via its Tech4PrisonLeavers initiative.
Paul Finnis, CEO for the Digital Poverty Alliance, commented:
“This has been an extraordinary year for the Digital Poverty Alliance, and in just 12 months we have already made a significant contribution towards improving the state of digital access in the UK.
“We now look forward to building on these foundations and continuing our journey towards ending digital poverty by 2030. This is a bold ambition, but one that we are ever optimistic about achieving alongside our wonderful coalition of partners, ambassadors, community members, and staff, who have already shown incredible compassion, commitment, skill, professionalism and energy, for which we are extremely grateful.”
Moira Thomas, Director of Group Sustainability and ESG for Currys, commented:
“Digital inclusion is one of the single most important elements of modern society. Those without access to devices, IT skills, or the internet are at risk of being left behind by society and will not have the same opportunity in life. And, because we want to help everyone enjoy amazing technology, we were one of three founding partners of the Digital Poverty Alliance in 2021, pledging £1m to kick start the initiative and also distribute the first 1,000 devices through Tech4Teachers.
“It has been a privilege to support and see the DPA become quickly established in just a year. We’re excited for the year ahead as the Alliance continues to convene, collaborate and build sustainable capacity in the digital ecosystem to help eradicate digital poverty once and for all”.