Stefan Fafinski, Chair of the WCIT Charity, reflects on the year just gone and his ambitions for the future…
“What a year it’s been for the WCIT Charity. We’ve seen a threefold increase in applications, all from very deserving charities, and we have been awed by the amazing things our grantees have achieved. This includes Oaks Specialist College, whose commitment to using technology to increase autonomy and independence for young adults with learning difficulties has resulted in it being appointed a Microsoft Showcase College for 2022-23. It is the only SEND specialist college in the UK to be recognised as such.
Unfortunately our grant making ability is finite and so we often had to make very difficult decisions about who to fund. In all, 13 organisations received support from the WCIT Charity in 2022, and I am pleased to report that the latest grants have been awarded to two organisations doing great work in educating young people about the opportunities available to them in the field of tech. Cyber Girls First targets girls aged 11-14 and inspires them to consider coding and cyber security as a viable subject and future career, while the Young Coders Competition supports teachers and students to experiment with coding in Scratch.
Because we recognise that demand for digital support is growing exponentially across all of our areas of focus – inclusion, education, IT for charities and public understanding – the WCIT Charity is setting itself some ambitious targets to raise further income. This will help us to support even more fantastic charities in the years ahead.
I am looking forward to maximising the capabilities of tech for those communities who could benefit from it the most, and will be joining my fellow members in seeking collaborations, partnerships and major donor who would like to join us in our quest.
I would like to end by wishing all of our grantees, members and friends of the WCIT and WCIT Charity a very merry Christmas and fruitful New Year.”