£300,000 Funding for Digital Inclusion Across Kent
Opening at the end of November 2021, the new Kent Community Foundation Digital Inclusion Fund will offer grants of up to £10,000 for organisations, to enhance digital offers in the Kent County Council area. Thanks to a generous match funding programme from Kent County Council, Kent Community Foundation’s donors have raised over £300,000 for the new Digital Inclusion Fund.
A £162,000 contribution from Kent County Council encouraged Kent Community Foundation donors to dig deep and rise to the match challenge ensuring local organisations will benefit from a fund of £300,000 to improve technology for their beneficiaries. The Fund will specifically support projects where technology infrastructure is targeted towards disadvantaged young people seeking training and employment, the elderly and vulnerable adults.
Natalie Smith, Director of Grants and Impact, Kent Community Foundation, said, “Digital inclusion, or rather, reducing digital exclusion, is about making sure that people have the capability to use the internet to do things that benefit them day to day, whether they are individuals, small and medium enterprises or voluntary, community and social enterprises. Being digitally capable can make a significant difference to individuals and organisations and we are delighted to be able to distribute much needed funding to charities and community groups. For disadvantaged young people, this can mean helping with the school curriculum or finding a job and for the vulnerable or elderly it could mean cutting bills or maintaining contact with distant friends and relatives.”
Organisations supporting these three key areas will be funded from the Kent Community Foundation Digital Inclusion Fund.
- disadvantaged young people, including looked after children, to access online resources for school projects,
- older people to navigate digital services to help them to access benefits and health services
- vulnerable adults to access training and skills development to able to live independently.
In addition to these three priorities, the fund will also support technology loan or upgrade schemes supporting the same key groups, but with the added benefit of organisations being able to purchase hardware that they can loan to their service users. Grants from the Digital Inclusion Fund are not available for individuals.