The Digital Poverty Alliance, the Learning Foundation campaign seeking to end digital poverty in the UK, has been named as the instore donation partner for the tech giant, Currys.
Currys customers nationwide will now be offered the chance to donate 25p to charity when paying by card or digital wallet, through Currys’ partnership with micro-donation charity Pennies.
These extra pennies collected at the point of sale will aid the Digital Poverty Alliance (DPA) in its mission to end digital poverty in the UK by 2030. They plan to do this by connecting disadvantaged people with access to devices and internet connectivity.
As it stands, approximately one in five young people (ages 8-24) in the UK do not have access to a suitable device for learning, and 70 per cent of households earning less than £17.5k only have foundation digital skills. This is having an adverse effect on children’s future and worsening the social divide in the UK as digital skills are in increasingly high demand. In fact, 82 per cent of all jobs advertised require digital skills.
Elizabeth Anderson, Chief Operating Officer at Digital Poverty Alliance said, “the digitalisation of society is on an upward trajectory, and business, education, and day-to-day life, in general, is already largely supported and even run by sophisticated technology. But digital access can be expensive, particularly for disadvantaged children and adults. Without access to devices, IT skills, or the internet, these people are more at risk of being left behind by society, and not having the same opportunity in life as their peers. This contributes to a widening social disparity and acerbates poverty.
“We are therefore thrilled to be the instore partner of Currys, which will not only bring awareness of digital poverty but also play a large role in raising the funds required to tackle it. Donations will allow us to supply laptops and relevant digital tools to those going without, helping us to create a digitally proficient society for all.”
According to fintech charity Pennies, if every adult in the UK gave 35p each week, over £1 billion could be raised each year. Currys’ customers will have the chance to make a digital micro-donation of 25 pence per transaction, which could amount to as much as £4,000 in donations per week at busy times of the year.
For the first six months of the campaign, the Digital Poverty Alliance will be providing electronic devices to disadvantaged families across areas disproportionately affected by digital poverty. These include communities across North Norfolk, West Cumbria, Staffordshire, Ayrshire, and Port Talbot and Bridgend.
Paula Coughlan, Chief People, Communications and Sustainability Officer of Currys plc said, “digital inclusion is one of the single most important elements of modern society and it’s so critical that we help play our part in addressing this country’s digital divide. Without access to basic technology, families will struggle to connect with the world and can become dangerously isolated.
“Our new instore charity partnership with the Digital Poverty Alliance, therefore, marks a concerted effort to raise awareness, and donations, for this extremely pressing societal issue, and we hope to reconnect underprivileged children and their families with the technology they need to help them achieve their true potential.”
Alison Hutchinson CBE, CEO, Pennies added, “Pennies has partnered with Currys since 2016, enabling two million customer micro-donations in Currys stores and raising hundreds of thousands of pounds for charity. Customers have shown great generosity, with donations increasing by 180% over the last 2 years.
“We are excited to now support this new partnership with the Digital Poverty Alliance, which is so aligned to Currys purpose, giving customers a simple, affordable, and accessible way to contribute and harness the power of digital micro-donations to help to end digital inequality.”