Working with KidsOut to tackle the digital divide in the UK
Throughout the uncertainty and challenges posed by Covid-19, Direct Line Group have been supporting charity KidsOut through the DLG community fund. KidsOut work with children who are sheltering in refuges across the country to give them positive experiences and support them through the tough times.
Through this support, KidsOut have managed to reduce the number of refuges with no access to foodbanks from 85% to 30%. Furthermore, they have been recognised for their work by the Government and have received additional funds which will provide these families with a £25 supermarket voucher.
In the next phase of our community fund we have been looking at how we can further support KidsOut at tackling the digital divide in refuges, particularly as there is now a focus on getting children back to school. Support will help fund 700 laptops for Women’s Aid Federation Refuges to ensure that every school aged child has access to IT and a computer. The goal is to have a communal computer in each refuge with several laptops available to be signed out from a member of staff, with the aim for there to be one computer per four school aged children. Through the laptop scheme children will be able to sign out laptops to use for educational resources. Being able to access these resources online will allow the children to stay on top of their studies, as many children in refuge do not attend school for fear of being found by their abuser. Having access to online tools can help benefit the children’s development as well as improve their long-term mental health. As 75% of all mental health conditions are established before the age of 18, early intervention is essential, therefore providing the children with stimulating and beneficial activities is crucial.
This program is part of the third phase of DLG’s community fund which is looking to tackle five key issues: Social mobility, supporting left behind groups, public health, tackling food poverty and how to Build Back Better. The impact of Covid-19 has highlighted how some groups such as those who are homeless or sheltering in refuges can slip through the cracks. As these groups are likely to see a worsening of circumstances as we continue to feel the impacts of Covid-19, it is vital these groups are supported.
Over the next coming months Direct Line Group will be supporting several organisations through donations from the Community Fund.
To find out more about the DLG Community Fund and the other charities we are supporting click here.