01/04/2022

Donation will help to bridge the digital divide

Leading UK place maker, United Living, has donated over £17,000 to Clarion Futures – in a bid to drive digital inclusion.

The pandemic shone a spotlight on a so-called ‘digital divide’ and even prior to this, ONS figures* stated that up to 4.8 million people, across all age groups in the UK, were digitally excluded in some capacity. This effects people’s ability to access the opportunities that the digital world offers.

United Living’s donation will help ensure communities are not excluded from education, employment or the wider society, due to a lack of digital access – especially those with financial instability.

The funds will be used to aid Clarion Futures’ digital skills training courses, by loaning laptop computers to residents identified as needing additional support in navigating online services, applications and using the world wide web.

Clarion Futures is the charitable foundation of leading social housing provider, Clarion Housing Group. In 2020/21 alone, it delivered £107million in social value, supporting communities, charities, community groups and organisations – delivering one of Britain’s biggest social investment programmes.

Steph Noyce, Head of Money and Digital at Clarion Futures, said: “Through our digital inclusion work, we provide skills training, support and access to devices, so Clarion residents can get online safely and confidently. Thanks to United Living’s generous donation, we will be able to help more residents to make the most of the internet and all it has to offer. We’re very grateful for the support.” 

Since 2018, United Living Group has invested £10 million in social value through community engagement schemes.

David Rooney, Managing Director, with United Living Property Services, said: “The impact of the pandemic has highlighted the value and importance that access to technology holds and how isolating and limiting it can be without it. This donation forms part of our wider commitment to supporting and investing in the people, communities and neighbourhoods in which we work. 

United Living has a great relationship with the team at Clarion Housing Group, and it’s good to be creating positive change through initiatives that demonstrate real social value and impact. We’re delighted that the provision of this new technology will help to drive digital inclusion”.

United Living Group is delivering many key projects in close partnership with Clarion Housing, including £28 million worth of planned refurbishment and regeneration works in London and the South East, and a £4 million Social Housing Decarbonisation Demonstrator project in Tonbridge, Kent.

*Office for National Statistics – Exploring the digital divide (2019): https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/householdcharacteristics/homeinternetandsocialmediausage/articles/exploringtheuksdigitaldivide/2019-03-04

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