In an effort to tackle digital exclusion in the North East of England, CityFibre has announced that it will be partnering with local social enterprises, Donate Digital and Better ConNEcted, to deliver better access to equipment and digital skills. 

The Donate Digital initiative upgrades and distributes donated IT equipment and Better ConNEcted is a regional campaign that promotes awareness for digital inclusion.

The partnership will see the three organisations deliver regular equipment donations, whilst also covering the costs of recycling and distributing the devices.

20 devices have already been delivered to local organisations in the North East. Beneficiaries included Newcastle-based charity Success4All, who will donate the laptops to children from low-income families, and Age UK North Tyneside, who will use the devices to help older generations to get online.

Jason Legget, City Manager for CityFibre, commented: “Digital exclusion is such a major challenge for people in our region, so helping those leading initiatives that enable access and build confidence is very important to us, as we work to bring future-proof connectivity within reach of entire communities.”

Speaking about the risks of digital exclusion for young people, Busola Afolabi, Operations Manager at Success4All, said: “Computers and the internet aren’t going away. And the children who, through no fault of their own, aren’t able to gain access to a computer and the internet, to gain in confidence and develop proficiencies, will struggle to find a well-paid job. At Success4All, we want a future where a child’s ambitions are never limited by their circumstances.”

Addressing digital exclusion in the UK will be a key topic at this year’s Connected Britain 2021, held in London on 21st and 22nd September. Head to the event website to find out how you can get involved.