The WCIT Charity received nearly 60 applications this quarter, with funding requests from many worthy charities and non-profit organisations. As ever, choosing which ones to fund was exceptionally tough, but we are pleased to announce that six received grants this September.
Lilian Baylis Technology School, with whom the WCIT has a long-term relationship, was awarded £29,565 to purchase Chromebooks for 125 Year 12 students who would not otherwise have access to computers or learning outside the school gates. The laptops will be permanently gifted to the students so that they can continue their studies at university and share online access with their families who do not have connectivity at home. The hypothesis is that this relatively simply intervention will overcome the barriers for students in accessing the professional and digital world. If this trial is successful, the school hopes to secure funding from other sources to help all of those progressing to Year 12 in the years to come.
With its grant of £15,000, National Ugly Mugs (a member of AI4C), will be creating an Application Programming Interface to allow the National Crime Agency and police to safely access its database of harms against sex workers. It will also be using Artificial Intelligence to code open-text boxes on incident forms, which will enable the organisation to improve its collation, management and sharing of data.
The Switch was awarded £5,520 to create a virtual work experience day for disadvantaged young people in Tower Hamlets, designed to showcase the opportunities and roles available within the tech and IT sector. While three further grants of between £2,400 and £5,000 went to the FirstLight Trust, the Zink Project and Inside Justice to fund essential IT that will enhance the services they provide.
WCIT Charity Chair, Dr Stefan Fafinski DL, said “These grants demonstrate the breadth of our grant-making, and our continued ability to make a huge national impact on lives across the whole of the UK. Once again, we have demonstrated our emphasis on education, digital inclusion, and the effective use of tech by charities – who, in turn, will take advantage of that for their own beneficiaries.”