Dixons Carphone is to give £1million to support disadvantaged pupils, parents and teachers as part of a longer-term commitment to help end digital poverty in the UK.
The business behind Currys PC World and Carphone Warehouse is working with The Learning Foundation to give £1m to the charity’s Digital Access For All (DAFA) programme to support digital learning. The money will also equip 1,000 teachers and teaching assistants with the technology and help they need to deliver high quality home schooling to 30,000 disadvantaged pupils during the pandemic and beyond.
The retailer will also become one of three founding partners in the Digital Poverty Alliance (DPA), a group of organisations brought together by DAFA and the Institution of Engineering and Technology to tackle digital poverty in the UK, particularly for disadvantaged children.
Dixons Carphone will work with the DPA as they draw together the partnership which will include major companies, local and national government departments and enterprises, charities and community organisation. Digital Access For All founding partners include Nominet, Intel, Microsoft, BT and Lloyds Bank. Dixons Carphone will bring its unique expertise in areas such as trade-in, repair, recycling and services, as well as utilise its extensive, national distribution and retail network, to help the Alliance achieve scale in their ambitions.
The pledge underscores Dixons Carphone’s commitment to its vision ‘We Help Everyone Enjoy Amazing Technology’ and promises a sustainable approach that delivers the excitement and inclusivity of technology to every child.
Alex Baldock, CEO of Dixons Carphone, said: “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.
“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.”
Paul Finnis, CEO of The Learning Foundation, said: “We could not be more excited to have Dixons Carphone on board. In our 20-year history of working with schools and technology we’ve learned how to develop innovative solutions to address the digital discrepancy that exists at home for millions of people. With the pandemic having only exacerbated this divide, having a specialist retailer with the expertise, size and scale of Dixons Carphone will be game changing.”
Lord Knight of Weymouth, Ex-Minister of State for Schools and Chair of Digital Access For All, said: “I am delighted to welcome Dixons Carphone as the lead partner of the next stage of the work of Digital Access For All. This donation will ensure that our shared ambition of closing the digital divide is closer to being realised and enable us to achieve what we set out to do in 2019 when we launched – to end digital poverty for all by 2025”.