We are Keeping Digital CIC 

Formed in 2016 as York Pi Jam and then developing into the Keeping Digital Foundation, we're North Yorkshire's leading digital inclusivity charitable organisation. 
 
We run services across North Yorkshire, with the aim to empower residents to get online, and to also inspire the next generation through our digital making activities. 
 
We do this through our range of services, activities and brands. 

Why we were formed 

From our original roots back in 2016, to becoming the Keeping Digital Foundation everyone now knows in 2021, everything we've done has been for our local communities. Founded originally to ensure all young people had access to the same opportunities when it came to learning about STEM, the Keeping Digital Foundation now works to ensure everyone has the choice and opportunity to get online and know where to access help when they need it. 
 
Everyone is able to access support from the Keeping Digital Foundation, regardless of their background and personal circumstances. 
 
With technology continuing to rapidly grow, many residents find themselves left behind. Did you know... 
1 in 5 
adults lack the most basic digital skills needed for everyday life 
1 in 20 
households have no internet access, neither fixed line nor mobile 
2 million 
households struggle with affordability of internet access 
As many vital services move online, from banking to healthcare, it's vital we support local residents in having the choice to get online, 
 
We believe by coming together, we can make a much kinder and nicer community to live in. 

Our history 

Formed in 2016, 

as York Pi Jam the Keeping Digital team has been working with the local community to create exciting projects and improve services across the region. 

2018 - 2019 

In 2018, we were finalists for Best Event at the Minster FM Listener Choice awards. 
 
In 2019, yorkpijam.com was launched with free online activities for people across York, North Yorkshire and England to participate in, free of charge. 

In May 2020, 

York Pi Jam rolled out online e-safety support and guidance, making it easier for local parents to find advice and tips on keeping their young people safe online. 

November 2020 - January 2021 

In November, our charitable lead and co-founder, Luke Castle, was nominated and won the York Press 'Spirit of the Youth' award. 
 
In January 2021, Keeping Digital Foundation was launched encompassing the work of various projects including York Pi Jam, Keeping You E-Safe and York MakerFest under one roof with rebranding complete by 1st March 2021. 

In August 2022, 

the Keeping Digital Foundation announced a partnership with Digital Friendly York (formerly known as 100% Digital York), a new partnership of organisations (including Keeping Digital Foundation) which aims to give residents in York the choice and opportunity to get online and know where to access help when they need it. 
 
As part of this, Keeping Digital Foundation announced that they would be providing digital inclusivity support services across the city. 

In April 2023, 

the Keeping Digital Foundation announced the launch of free digital workshops at selected Digital Cafes, boosting digital skills in York residents. 
The digital workshops were rolling out across selected Digital Cafes, including Sanderson House in Chapelfields and St Wulstan in Heworth, with further Digital Cafes to join the programme in the coming year. 
 
The workshops aim to help residents get started on their digital devices and to help build their skills, from creating an email to buying and selling on eBay. The free, one-day workshops make it convenient to pick up new digital skills, and our volunteers are here to answer any questions residents may have. 

In October 2023, 

the Keeping Digital Foundation relaunched Gwiddle, a service providing free website hosting for UK students. 
 
Gwiddle became part of our organisation in July 2023 and officially launched gwiddle.org on the 2nd of October 2023, with the aim to improve access to digital technology and also support young people in Computer Science education. To allow more students to get involved and try coding, we're providing free website hosting so students can test code and build exciting projects, with the aim to inspire the next generation. 
 
We're on a mission to make Gwiddle home once again to hundreds of students who are taking their first steps in web development. 

2016 - 2017 

The Keeping Digital Foundation started its journey as York Pi Jam in April 2016, working on a city digital making event to give young people the opportunity to try out digital making and to pilot these activities for a larger roll out. With a hugely successful event taking place in 2017/18, York Pi Jam then created monthly digital making activities and worked with organisations across the city of York to host and organise more of these activities. 

In March 2020, 

a week before the first UK lockdown was announced to combat the spread of Coronavirus in our communities, York Pi Jam suspended all events and moved all of the worksheets online in a week. York Pi Jam then partnered with local media to advertise these free resources in papers (both online and digital). Later on in the year, York Pi Jam also introduced 'Code with us' which occurred every weekend and encouraged young people to create projects alongside the team online. Over the 12 weeks, over 2,000 projects were created by young people across the country. 

In June and July 2020, 

York Pi Jam announced it was relaunching York CoderDojo to provide more digital making activities for young people across North Yorkshire. In July 2020, yorkcoderdojo.co.uk launched. 
 
In July 2020, Keeping You E-Safe was launched with characters designed by local design studio 'Buttercrumble'. 

In March 2021, 

we worked with local radio station YorkMix Radio to celebrate our rebrand and also to support local businesses. York CoderDojo also expanded with the launch of Selby CoderDojo.  

In October 2022, 

the Keeping Digital Foundation become a Community Interest Company, and launched more digital making activities across the region in places like Northallerton and Harrogate, with support of North Yorkshire County Council. 
 
The first Digital Cafe also took place at Tang Hall Explore Library, providing digital inclusivity support to local residents helping them get connected. 

In May 2023, 

we partnered with the Good Things Foundation, Virgin Media O2, Vodafone, and Three, to roll out the National Databank programme to Digital Cafes across York which are helping residents most at need. 
 
The National Databank offers people struggling to stay connected free mobile data top-ups to help ensure they can access online services and keep in touch with family and friends. 
 
We were also announced as finalists in the YorkMix Choice Awards for Charity of the Year! 

In March 2024, 

we got keys to our first ever 'hub' space at Monks Cross, York. Our 'hubs' were a new initiative from the Keeping Digital Foundation, looking to provide spaces outside of our central office that allowed for lounge spaces, including dedicated room for device refurbishments so we can better support our local community. The new 'hub' was also a key site for the growth of the Gwiddle brand, including the newly launched Gwiddle Clubs. 

Formed in 2016, 

as York Pi Jam the Keeping Digital team has been working with the local community to create exciting projects and improve services across the region.. 

2016 - 2017 

The Keeping Digital Foundation began its journey as York Pi Jam in April 2016, working on a city digital making event to give young people the opportunity to try out digital making and to pilot these activities for a larger roll out. With a hugely successful event taking place in 2017/18, York Pi Jam then created monthly digital making activities and worked with organisations across the city of York to host and organise more of these activities. 

2018 - 2019 

In 2018, we were finalists for Best Event at the Minster FM Listener Choice awards. 
 
In 2019, yorkpijam.com was launched with free online activities for people across York, North Yorkshire and England to participate in, free of charge. 

In March 2020, 

a week before the first UK lockdown was announced to combat the spread of Coronavirus in our communities, York Pi Jam suspended all events and moved all of the worksheets online in a week. York Pi Jam then partnered with local media to advertise these free resources in papers (both online and digital). Later on in the year, York Pi Jam also introduced 'Code with us' which occurred every weekend and encouraged young people to create projects alongside the team online. Over the 12 weeks, over 2,000 projects were created by young people across the country. 

In May 2020, 

York Pi Jam rolled out online e-safety support and guidance, making it easier for local parents to find advice and tips on keeping their young people safe online. 

In June and July 2020, 

York Pi Jam announced it was relaunching York CoderDojo to provide more digital making activities for young people across North Yorkshire. In July 2020, yorkcoderdojo.co.uk launched. 
 
In July 2020, Keeping You E-Safe was launched with characters designed by local design studio 'Buttercrumble'. 

November 2020 - January 2021 

In November, the lead of the project and organisation, Luke Castle, was nominated and won the York Press 'Spirit of the Youth' award. 
 
In January 2021, Keeping Digital Foundation was launched encompassing the work of various projects including York Pi Jam, Keeping You E-Safe and York MakerFest under one roof with rebranding complete by 1st March 2021. 

In March 2021, 

we worked with local radio station YorkMix Radio to celebrate our rebrand and also to support local businesses. York CoderDojo also expanded with the launch of Selby CoderDojo. The Keeping Digital Foundation also announced it was launching a new campaign to push for better mental health funding to improve services across the city and region for young people who were suffering from low mental health as a result of the pandemic and pressures on exams and education. 

In August 2022, 

the Keeping Digital Foundation announced a partnership with 100% Digital York, a new partnership of organisations (including Keeping Digital Foundation) which aims to give residents in York the choice and opportunity to get online and know where to access help when they need it. 
 
As part of this, Keeping Digital Foundation announced that they would be providing digital inclusivity support services across the city. 

In October 2022, 

the Keeping Digital Foundation become a Community Interest Company, and launched more digital making activities across the region in places like Northallerton and Harrogate, with support of North Yorkshire County Council. 
 
The first Digital Cafe also took place at Tang Hall Explore Library, providing digital inclusivity support to local residents helping them get connected. 

In April 2023, 

the Keeping Digital Foundation announced the launch of free digital workshops at selected Digital Cafes, boosting digital skills in York residents. 
The digital workshops were rolling out across selected Digital Cafes, including Sanderson House in Chapelfields and St Wulstan in Heworth, with further Digital Cafes to join the programme in the coming year. 
 
The workshops aim to help residents get started on their digital devices and to help build their skills, from creating an email to buying and selling on eBay. The free, one-day workshops make it convenient to pick up new digital skills, and our volunteers are here to answer any questions residents may have. 

In May 2023, 

we partnered with the Good Things Foundation, Virgin Media O2, Vodafone, and Three, to roll out the National Databank programme to Digital Cafes across York which are helping residents most at need. 
 
The National Databank offers people struggling to stay connected free mobile data top-ups to help ensure they can access online services and keep in touch with family and friends. 
 
We were also announced as finalists in the YorkMix Choice Awards for Charity of the Year! 

In October 2023, 

the Keeping Digital Foundation relaunched Gwiddle, a service providing free website hosting for UK students. 
 
Gwiddle became part of our organisation in July 2023 and officially launched gwiddle.org on the 2nd of October 2023, with the aim to improve access to digital technology and also support young people in Computer Science education. To allow more students to get involved and try coding, we're providing free website hosting so students can test code and build exciting projects, with the aim to inspire the next generation. 
 
We're on a mission to make Gwiddle home once again to hundreds of students who are taking their first steps in web development. 

In March 2024, 

we got keys to our first ever 'hub' space at Monks Cross, York. Our 'hubs' were a new initiative from the Keeping Digital Foundation, looking to provide spaces outside of our central office that allowed for lounge spaces, including dedicated room for device refurbishments so we can better support our local community. The new 'hub' was also a key site for the growth of the Gwiddle brand, including the newly launched Gwiddle Clubs. 

Heard about us? 

We're often talking with local media partners about all the amazing work we do! Here's a few of the lovely people: 

We love an awards ceremony 

Here's some of our recent achivements where our work has been recognised in our local communities 
BBC Logo

BBC Make A Difference Awards 2024 - Community 

Finalists  
The Keeping Digital Foundation were shortlisted as finalists for BBC Radio York's Make A Difference Awards in 2024. With the awards ceremony taking place in September 2024, we're excited to find out the results! 
YorkMix Logo

YorkMix Choice Awards 2023 - Best Charity 

Finalists  
With our expansion of digital inclusion services and digital making activities across the region, in 2023 we were delighted to be finalists for Best Charity at the 2023 YorkMix Choice Awards. 
York Press Logo

York Press Community Pride Awards 2020 - Spirit of the Youth 

Winner  
Luke Castle, co-founder of Keeping Digital Foundation, won the Spirit of the Youth award at the York Press Community Pride Awards in 2020. 
Minster FM Logo

Minster FM Listener Choice Awards 2018 - Best Event 

Finalists  
After numerous successful digital making activity events in York, we were finalists for Best Event at the 2018 Minster FM Listener Choice Awards. 

Proudly supported by... 

Here are some of our most recent supporters, helping us run our services across the region! 
Tesco logo
Bird & Blend Tea logo
M&S logo
Lucy & Yak logo

Our founders 

Luke Castle 

Co-Founder and Community Coordinator 
 
Luke founded York Pi Jam in 2016, running free digital making activities across the city of York. In 2020, he launched the Keeping Digital Foundation with his close friend and co-founder David. Founded in the IT room in their sixth form, Keeping Digital Foundation was to be the new home of our growing digital making activities and digital inclusion support services. In 2022, Luke helped grow Keeping Digital Foundation into a registered CIC, with the organisation now running six Digital Cafe services and supporting hundreds of young people every year to develop new tech skills. 
 
What's your 3pm pick-me-up snack? Kinder Bueno and a can of Coke Zero 
Tea, Coffee or Hot Chocolate in your mug? All very good options, 100% more of a flavoured tea person though 
Favourite colour? Green (obviously) 
What's your favourite thing about Keeping Digital? So difficult to pick! Has to be attending our digital making activities and seeing the impact of our services on young people across the region - that and building a charitable organisation I'm so proud of with my best friend! 

David Thompson 

Co-Founder and Volunteer Coordinator 
 
David joined York Pi Jam in 2017, and co-founded Keeping Digital Foundation in 2020; taking on the role of Volunteer Coordinator, David helped develop the Digital Cafes concept which has since rolled out across the city of York. He also assisted in organising the launch of our new volunteering system, VolunteerPortal, which allows volunteers to easily manage their opportunities with Keeping Digital CIC. 
 
What's your 3pm pick-me-up snack? Cadbury Oreo Bar 
Tea, Coffee or Hot Chocolate in your mug? Hot chocolate 100% 
Favourite colour? Blue 
What's your favourite thing about Keeping Digital? Making a difference in our communities and supporting our volunteers to do that! 
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