#WEMAKEICTPOSSIBLE

The Musketeers CIC is home to the #WeMakeICTPossible campaign which aims to tackle digital poverty across the Mansfield and Ashfield areas in a number of distinct projects.

When considering local issues, it became evident that with around 26% of Mansfield and Ashfield families having no access to the digital world that there was a challenge to be undertaken to ensure every family gets the opportunities they deserve. The covid pandemic exacerbated this problem amongst many others and had a significant impact both nationally and in particular locally.

Digital poverty which the Musketeers found to be prevalent across Mansfield and Ashfield during 2019 was becoming a major issue with the onset of home schooling be forced upon many families.

With a rising need and call to action, appeals for support from local schools and people during the covid pandemic lockdown who were concerned about the number of children and young people without access to a computer, laptop, tablet and internet outside of school. In an effort to support the schools with immediate effect but also provide a conduit to tackle the issue of digital poverty, the #WeMakeICTPossible campaign was founded in October 2020. The Musketeers split the first couple of months between donating equipment alongside gathering further research into the status of digital poverty within the area.

Despite the lockdowns and limitations around covid having been lifted, the demand for digital equipment is still just as a critical. Over the past 18 months, The Musketeers have discovered that digital poverty is more likely existent in around 40% of families across the Mansfield and Ashfield areas with digital poverty now not just being about a lack of digital equipment but also rather digital knowledge.

During these past 18 months and to respond to the findings from continued research, #WeMakeICTPossible has grown to have four key objectives across two phases

Our Services

PHASE 1

Provide ICT equipment to children and young people without this technology at home

PHASE 2

Develop digital hubs for families to access ICT resources & training

PHASE 2

Support children & young people with gaining ICT qualifications

PHASE 2

Develop a steering group with digital & community partners to widen ICT provision

1
FAMILIES ACROSS THE AREA HAVE BEEN SUPPORTED SINCE DECEMBER 2020
1 %
FAMILIES IN OUR AREA AFFECTED BY DIGITAL POVERTY
1
LOCAL EDUCATION PROVIDERS IN RECEIPT OF ICT EQUIPMENT DONATIONS
1
BUSINESSES/ PEOPLE IN THE COMMUNITY HAVE DONATED TO THE CAMPAIGN
HELP US TACKLE DIGITAL POVERTY

JOIN OUR MISSION AND HELP US TO TACKLE DIGITAL POVERTY

DONATE ICT EQUIPMENT

LAPTOPS, COMPUTERS, MONITORS, TOWERS, KEYBOARDS, MICE, ETC

DONATE MONEY

HAVEN'T GOT ANY EQUIPMENT BUT WANT TO HELP THE CAUSE, YOU CAN DONATE ANY AMOUNT THROUGH OUR

what this campaign means to
the community

"This is such a worthwhile scheme to tackle digital poverty, which is a serious issue affecting hundreds of households in this district. It’s easy to believe that everyone has easy access to the internet but it is simply not the case. For some families all they might have is one basic smartphone between them and this has meant very unequal access to online lessons during the lockdown for many children and young people in Mansfield. The council and myself were only too pleased to support positive local action to ease this problem. As well as supporting individual families, this campaign provides a significant boost to the council’s broader aim to address the much wider ongoing issue of educational attainment in Mansfield, which we hope will assist in raising the opportunities and life chances of future generations here".
Andy Abrahams
Mayor of Mansfield
“Our ethos has always been to work with local businesses and to help local communities whenever we can. Digital poverty is such a major issue across Mansfield and Ashfield with hundreds of homes across our area not having access to on-line learning. We have pledged our support as we feel passionate as a local business about not simply ‘talking the talk’ in terms of wanting to help but actually doing something about it and ‘walking the walk’’. We hope that cheaper photocopying costs for businesses and Canon’s award-winning range will encourage other local businesses to contact us and join us in our campaign to help households across Mansfield and Ashfield”
Scott westwood
director, smart digital
“We quickly realised that online provision in place of face to face learning was not something we could take for granted. We now know that 28% of our students have no access to a computer at home, with another 24% having only limited access to a shared device. Teaching online lessons therefore placed our community at a substantial disadvantage and potentially widened an already significant attainment gap. It has been our goal to overcome this barrier and we’ve been lucky enough to benefit from donations from The Musketeers that have assisted our most disadvantaged families. Giving the gift of digital access is priceless. We are proud to be strategic partners of The Musketeers in the fight against digital poverty. Every donation empowers our young people, enabling them to flourish as a digital citizen”.
donna percival
vice principal, queen elizabeth's academy

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