Tech4Families, a new initiative from the Digital Poverty Alliance, in collaboration with Currys, to drive digital inclusion by connecting disadvantaged families with brand new laptops, has officially rolled out across the five areas in the UK.
Tech4Families was initially announced at an in-person events in June 2022, hosted by Digital Poverty Alliance and Currys representatives at the Currys store. However, this month (September 2022), Tech4Families has officially rolled out across the five areas of focus, with the first 200 brand new Lenovo laptops being released to low income families in Staffordshire, West Cumbria, Norfolk Coast, Neath Port Talbot and Bridgend and Ayrshire.
These areas were selected as five areas across the country where Tech4Families will be physically rolled out, as they were found to be areas most affected by digital poverty in the UK. More donated devices and laptops will be made available to other families in the area within the coming months.
The Digital Poverty Alliance, a Learning Foundation initiative seeking to end digital poverty in the UK, is leading the rollout of Tech4Families, which has been funded by donations from Currys customers. These monetary donations have been used to purchase Lenovo laptops which are given to qualifying families across the chosen areas.
The DPA recently launched their evidence review into the state of digital poverty in the UK, and found that one in five children who had been home schooling in 2021 did not have access to an appropriate device to do so. Tech4Families seeks to solve this issue by helping families who need a laptop to get one.
Elizabeth Anderson, COO for the Digital Poverty Alliance commented:
“Without digital access, low income families and individuals just don’t have the same opportunity to build a career, complete school work, or even interact with friends and family. Unfortunately, this is an issue which is growing worse, particularly in light of inflation, a looming recession, and a worrying cost of living crisis.
“That’s why we’re really pleased that the initial rollout of devices in the Norfolk Coast area has begun, and hope that the 200 families who have already received their laptops are already enjoying the benefits. More families from the area will also be able to apply for Tech4Families in due course!”
Paula Coughlan, Chief People, Communications and Sustainability Officer for Currys, commented:
“We’ve seen first-hand how digital poverty can adversely impact someone’s life. In fact, for most of us fortunate enough to not be afflicted by poverty, it’s hard to think of a life without instant access to the internet to complete even the simplest of learning, work or personal tasks.
“Tech4Families is therefore an initiative we are proud to be a part of, as it goes a long way to improve the lives of hundreds of families across the U.K. However, digital poverty is a country-wide issue impacting thousands of individuals, making it a problem which demands even more commitment and awareness from the wider public and government. We hope to give the issue the attention it deserves alongside great organisations such as the Digital Poverty Alliance.”
For more information about Tech4Families, or information on how you can help, visit here: https://digitalpovertyalliance.org/tech4families/