Lambeth Appeal: End the Digital Divide

by Kieran Ferdinand in London, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 26th April 2021 we successfully raised £45,963 with 578 supporters in 55 days

The Lambeth Digital Inclusion Fund is raising money to help children and young people who are digitally excluded to get online.

by Kieran Ferdinand in London, England, United Kingdom


The digital divide is widening inequalities

We’re raising money to provide devices (laptops and tablets) and Wi-Fi access to the thousands of children and families in Lambeth who remain cut off from education, vital services, and online support.

Our appeal is based on a recent survey of Lambeth schools which showed that there were over 8,500 children in the borough lacking sufficient access to computers and Wi-Fi during the first lockdown. 

Your donation will have double the impact

Impact on Urban Health have announced that they will be generously match funding the first £50,000 donated. This means that your donation can have double the impact.

Why this matters now

Covid-19 has highlighted how essential technology is to helping children and young people to stay connected, learn, access help and advice, and maintain their wellbeing. With schools closed because of a third national lockdown, most children are once again learning from home. Many still don’t have access to a computer or Wi-Fi, excluding them from online learning and putting them at risk of falling further behind their classmates. 

We think this is unacceptable. It is our ambition that no child in Lambeth should be without the equipment they need to access learning online, which has become so important to their education during the pandemic and into the future.

An end to lockdown won’t change the digital divide

Even as we look ahead to schools reopening, this unprecedented year of disruption means we face a massive challenge to help children catch up on the education and development they have missed out on. Access to a computer and the internet is essential to this recovery, not least because of the shorter-term likelihood of continued hybrid or home-learning during the ongoing pandemic. For our young people finding a first job or continuing into further education, access to a computer will enable them to research their options and complete applications.

You can make a difference

Every donation counts - all contributions, small or large, will make a big difference. All money raised will be spent on purchasing computers and internet access to help a young person's education in Lambeth, as well as providing support to use them. We will prioritise those in need this academic year, particularly those with no access to any devices, with any surplus used to support those who have insufficient access, for example sharing one device within a family.

About the Lambeth Digital Inclusion Fund

There has been a strong community response to this issue so far, with voluntary sector organisations, schools, and Lambeth Council working together to get pupils online. But there’s more for us to do to end the inequality of access to online learning in our borough, which has become so painfully apparent during this Covid-19 crisis.

That’s why the Lambeth Digital Inclusion Fund has been established, and we are determined to do everything we can to provide digital access to the children and families who need them.

The fund was launched in Autumn 2020 with an investment of £200,000 from Lambeth Council to support schools and voluntary sector organisations. This funding provided digital equipment, internet connection and support for people of all ages. The Council has also invested an additional £200,000 through its School Inclusion Fund to meet the high levels of need in the borough and distributed devices provided by the Department for Education.

The recent survey of schools has shown that there is still an ongoing and urgent need to support people in Lambeth with access to computers. This Crowdfunder is a partnership effort to close Lambeth's digital divide, focusing on the needs of children, young people, and families at this difficult time. 

About Impact on Urban Health

Impact on Urban Health is focused on improving health in inner-cities. Based in the London boroughs of Lambeth and Southwark, they fund and support organisations, groups and individuals who are committed to achieving health equity in urban areas. Their aim is to understand the causes of complex health issues and explore different ways of addressing them. They do this by combining the best sources of data, robust evidence, lived experience and practical interventions. They learn by testing new concepts and sharing their insights to improve health in London, the UK, and around the world. This project will help address digital exclusion in Lambeth, which we know has an impact on both mental and physical health. They want to learn more about potential ways to tackle this issue and are pleased to be testing a new approach in their local community.

Allocation of funds

The funding will be allocated to schools and voluntary sector organisations through a simple application process. Due to the urgency of the situation, the money will be allocated quickly, with a process administered by Lambeth Council, and supported by a panel representing the partners involved. This process is well established having been used for previous rounds of the Lambeth Digital Inclusion Fund.  

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