Bristol based financial services company Hargreaves Lansdown (HL) have donated 60 Chromebooks to the Bristol Sport Foundation’s (BSF) Digital Inclusion Project. BSF work in partnership with local charity DigiLocal to help bridge the digital divide for young people across Bristol.

The project was set up to help ensure that young people have the skills and access to benefit from digital technologies and reach their full potential. Organisations can donate devices that have come to the end of their business life, these devices are then repurposed and given out within the community to support young people and their families.

Martha Girling, Responsible Business Manager at HL says: “Supporting our community has been a key priority for us during the pandemic and we are delighted to be able to make this latest donation of Chromebooks knowing they will help young people in need and bridge the gap of making online access available to all.”

Rob Webber, Head of Operations at BSF, says: “This generous donation from HL will benefit many young people. Several of the devices will be donated to the pupils on our Disability Journalism Programme. Each SEND student on the programme, which is in partnership with Warmley Park School, will be given their own device pre-loaded with video editing software. This will enable them to edit together their own video packages and apply the learning they’ve completed as part of the sports journalism course.”

As well as this, a substantial portion of the devices will be given to children who are taking part in BSF’s Reading Recovery programme. This is where BSF connect corporate volunteers with KS2 children who need support in improving their reading and literacy levels. Volunteers from HL have been involved with Reading Recovery since its inception.

This most recent donation from HL is a full-circle example of how BSF programmes create real tangible change for the people it works with. HL donating devices, that are then re-purposed and given out to children on the Reading Recovery programme, who are then supported through the programme by HL volunteers using the devices they’ve been gifted.

Martha says: “The impact of covid is far reaching, with younger people from various communities amongst the hardest hit. The Reading Recovery programme is a great example of a programme which tackles the issue head on. HL colleague volunteers have seen first-hand how the scheme has helped develop young people’s literacy skills and have found the experience highly rewarding.”

The remaining devices will be donated to Bristol Somali Resource Centre, a community-based organisation which supports people who are socially and economically disadvantaged and organises training, activities and workshops to enhance opportunities for some of the most disadvantaged people in Bristol.

John Bradford, CEO of DigiLocal says: “Our partnership with BSF has meant we’ve been donated some fantastic digital devices such as the ones donated by HL, and these devices make a real difference. The work we do gives the young people and individuals we support access to the kind of opportunities that we all take for granted.”

Rob continued: “As part of the repurposing, we programme the devices with BSF content including educational tools and interactive games with direct access to our app and web app. Thank you to HL for the generous donation that will make a real difference.”

DigiLocal are a charity that support under-represented young people to discover and develop their digital talents. As well as repurposing devices, they run free technology clubs by providing equipment, project guides and additional resources, along with volunteer and parent management services.

Please contact Ben Breeze, Bristol Sport Foundation’s Chief Community Officer, to find out how your organisation can make a donation to this important appeal and how we match every donation with clearly identified urgent need throughout Greater Bristol.