With over 4.66 billion internet users worldwide, many of us have grown up with a smartphone, laptop or tablet. Many of these things have become such a basic requirement as we head towards the ‘digital age’ that we take them for granted.  

While the pandemic and lockdown accelerated many people’s transition to technology, in some cases, it’s increased the digital divide.  

Digital poverty is defined as those without access to any of the core items of digital infrastructures, such as laptops or a reliable internet connection, which is something that 18% of students in the UK were impacted by last year.  

The AIM Group have formed an exciting partnership with The Stour Academy trust to provide free developmental courses while helping to tackle the digital divide within their schools.  

Having seen first-hand how digital poverty affected his student’s, tackling the digital divide was something that Tommy Cullen, Chief Operating Officer of The Stour Academy Trust placed great importance on.  

“Serving some of the most disadvantaged children in the county, the Trust has first-hand experience of seeing how digital poverty can severely hinder a child’s education.   

Although the gap between the has and have nots was always apparent, the lockdowns have caused us to reflect on just how difficult it can be for our most disadvantaged children when they go home. Our budgets cannot stretch to providing children with their own equipment to use at home and this causes us concern.” He Said.  

After getting in contact with us, we were able to form a bespoke partnership with The Stour Academy, offering free online courses to their staff and parents, while donating laptops to the families and students that needed them the most.  

Over 200 staff and parents were able to develop their Mental Health support skills through our Level 2 Mental Health First Aid and Advocacy in the Workplace.  

“We were thrilled that The AIM Group came alongside us to help us tackle the digital divide, while at the same time supporting our staff and parents to develop personally and professionally through their courses.” Said Kelly Davies, Virtual Headteacher at Thistle Hill Academy.  

The project has been a resounding success so far, as we were able to donate over 13 laptops to go directly to the children that need them the most.  

When asked about how the laptops would impact the school, Kelly said:  

“By ensuring that all children have access to a laptop at home, we’re ensuring that all children are able to reach their full potential”.  

 As a company that has aspired to provide the opportunity for everyone to develop and to break down barriers for those looking to reach their full potential, we are proud to have formed this partnership alongside The Stour Academy and hope to form many more in the future as we look to reduce the digital divide in schools.  

For any enquiries on our Digital Poverty project, you can email us at enquiries@theaimgroup.co.uk or call 0203 900 3091.

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