We’re asking companies in the UK games industry to pledge to donate old laptops and computers to schools to help bridge the digital divide.

What is the digital divide?

The digital divide is the gap between those able to benefit from the digital age and those who can’t. And in the UK, the divide is widening because it particularly affects children from disadvantaged backgrounds. 

Research by the Sutton Trust and Teacher Tapp shows that only 10 per cent of schools across the country reported all their pupils having a laptop. Meanwhile, Ofcom estimates that up to 1.78 million UK children (nine per cent) lack access to a laptop, desktop or tablet at home – and more than 880,000 live in a household with only a mobile internet connection. 

The problem becomes more profound when you take into consideration the fact that a lot of schools have low-mid standard technology. Technology with limited capabilities further hinders a child’s opportunity to participate in engaging learning opportunities.  

And while this has been in the news recently, this is not a short term issue; but is in fact a longer term problem. We know that if children are unable to experience the possibilities that technology has to offer today; then they are unlikely to choose to become its creators tomorrow. And that directly impacts our industry and future talent.

We have a part to play; we can make a difference; and we are asking you for your support.

We are asking companies to: 

  1. Commit to donate, rather than immediately recycle old devices, components and peripherals to local schools. 
  1. Help deliver those devices to schools in your area with the help of our partners at the Reboot Project and the Restart Programme. 
  1. Make some noise about your efforts to encourage others to do it. 

The pledge is simple to make and can be done in five minutes. You may already be donating; in which case we’d love you to sign up and continue the work that you are doing. And you can donate when you’re ready to, meaning you can sign up now and provide devices at a later date. 

By adding your voice to ours together we can mobilise the UK games industry and rally support from companies across the United Kingdom. And every company that supports will help get more devices to children, helping close the divide further.  

If you would like to sign up to the pledge now, all we ask is for you to complete a simple registration form to commit to the pledge. 

We believe that our industry can make a tangible difference to the futures of children across the UK and we hope to have you as a partner soon. 

FAQs

Is there a cost involved in signing the pledge? 

No, Ukie will not ask you for any payment or fees in order to sign the pledge. The only cost to you will be to what you wish to donate.  

Do I have to donate now? 

No, you do not have to donate immediately upon signing the pledge. The pledge is a commitment to donate; so it is perfectly feasible for you to sign it now, and donate up-to 12 months later when it is naturally within your cycle to do so.  

I’m already donating through my own connections; after signing the pledge will I have to use ones recommended by Ukie? 

No. If you are already donating devices or monetary funds in a way that works for you we would like you to carry on doing so. The repository of charities and organisations will always be available for you to use if you wish to do so. But you do not have to change the way you do things if it is already working for you. 

What else can I do to help if I don’t have devices available? 

If you don’t have devices to donate you can donate funds to charities listed or purchase computers to donate. The Good Things Foundation (https://www.goodthingsfoundation.org/devicesdotnow) is a nationwide charity that is asking for funds to buy new devices and digital connectivity for children and vulnerable adults.  

What is minimum requirement of devices? 

If you would like to donate to a specific school then it is worth check with them to see if they have any specific needs they are looking to fill. Otherwise, a simple Windows based laptop is often sufficient for most purposes. Please note that for schools a Windows based environment is often preferable as its most compatible with a wide range of software and apps.  

I’m a parent, and I desperately need a device so my child(ren) can access home learning. What can I do? 

Your first point of call should be your child’s school. Let them know about the situation so that they can make a note of sending any available devices to you; they will also be able to adapt the home learning resources so that your child is able to continue their learning. Your child’s school may well be registered with one or more of the charities listed through the Restart Project (https://therestartproject.org/). If they are not, then encourage them to sign up. You can also look through the directory to find your nearest local charitable organisation and get in touch with them directly. Some organisations will provide donations directly to families in need.  

I’m a teacher at a school, and we have a number of children that do not have sufficient access to devices at home. How can I register so that I can receive donations? 

Register your school with a local charity that is managing the distribution of donations. You can find local charities in your area through the Restart Project (https://therestartproject.org/). However, you can also register with nationwide initiatives such as Business2Schools (https://www.business2schools.com/schools) and Every Child Online (https://everychildonline.co.uk/help-for-your-school)  

I’m a teacher, and the computers at our school are ancient and too slow to run anything sufficient. Are we eligible to receive a donation? 

Yes you can still receive a donation; although most charities are likely to prioritise those recipients that do not have any access at all. Register your school with a local charity that is managing the distribution of donations. You can find local charities in your area through the Restart Project (https://therestartproject.org/). However, you can also register with nationwide initiatives such as  Business2Schools (https://www.business2schools.com/schools)  and Every Child Online (https://everychildonline.co.uk/help-for-your-school)  

How can schools register to receive hardware donations? 

Register your school with a local charity that is managing the distribution of donations. You can find local charities in your area through the Restart Project (https://therestartproject.org/). However, you can also register with nationwide initiatives such as  Business2Schools (https://www.business2schools.com/schools)  and Every Child Online (https://everychildonline.co.uk/help-for-your-school)  

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