Dixons Carphone, the business behind Currys PC World and Carphone Warehouse, has pledged £1m to help in the fight to end digital poverty in the UK.
The electronics and telecoms retailer is handing the cash to The Learning Foundation’s Digital Access For All (DAFA) programme, which supports digital learning. The money will be used to equip 1,000 teachers and teaching assistants with the technology and help they need to deliver home schooling to disadvantaged pupils.
Other partners involved in the DAFA programme include Nominet, Intel, Microsoft, BT, and Lloyds Bank.
Dixons Carphone will also become one the founding partners in the Digital Poverty Alliance – a group of organisations brought together by DAFA and the Institution of Engineering and Technology.
“Our business exists to help everyone enjoy amazing technology. We’re already helping thousands of older people to digitally connect through our partnership with Age UK and now we’re stepping up to tackle the digital divide in education,” said Alex Baldock, Dixons Carphone CEO. “Supporting teachers is our first priority as part of this pledge. Teachers are among the heroes of the pandemic and many are struggling with getting the most out of technology and remote learning.
“We will work with Digital Access For All and the Digital Poverty Alliance to develop solutions to eradicate this problem. With our scale, award-winning recycling and reuse operations, significant presence in the community and the help of 22,000 expert UK colleagues, we are confident we can make a difference.”
The coronavirus pandemic – and the resulting lockdowns – has highlighted the extent of digital (and overall) poverty in the UK and a number of businesses have been working to change that.
Last month, BT partnered with the Department of Education to provide 20GB of extra mobile data to disadvantaged families each month until the end of the academic year. BT also penned deals with BBC Bitesize and the Oak National Academy to remove mobile data charges for accessing content on their platforms across EE, BT Mobile, and Plusnet Mobile.