The Keeping Digital Foundation are beyond proud to announce that we have made the finals of two community awards, and will take to the York Racecourse this September to find out the judge's winners. 
The North Yorkshire based digital inclusion charitable organisation has been shortlisted as finalist for the BBC Morning Live Make A Difference Community Award, and the York Press Community Pride Awards for Best Community Project of the Year. 
 
The Morning Live Make a Difference Community Award is awarded to an individual or group of people who have helped to genuinely change the lives of others within their community. Similarly, the York Press Community Pride Award for Best Community Project of the Year is awarded to projects carried out by voluntary groups, celebrating groups that have come together in the community, who exemplify what can be achieved when people work together. 
 
It marks our first ever time being finalists at the BBC Make A Difference awards, and the second time we've been announced as finalists for a York Press Community Pride Award. Luke Castle, a co-founder of the Keeping Digital Foundation, was shortlisted as a finalist and won the Spirit of the Youth award back in 2020 for his commitment to the local community during the pandemic. 
 
Luke Castle, co-founder and Community Coordinator of the Keeping Digital Foundation, shared his excitement at being nominated and shortlisted for these awards: 
"It's been a busy year at the Keeping Digital Foundation. We relaunched Gwiddle which has provided more free digital making activities for young people across York, North Yorkshire, and the wider country - with further improvements to Gwiddle Club York launching in the next few months. Additionally, we've grown our Digital Cafe network to an incredible 7 cafes across the city of York alone! Each cafe provides a space for local residents to get free digital support, ranging from learning how to sign up to the NHS app, post a status on Facebook, or even getting access to free data through the York Databank. 1 in 4 adults across the country currently lack the digital skills needed for everyday life, and as a charitable organisation, we've made it our mission to ensure everyone can get the support they deserve. Digital exclusion exacerbate existing inequalities, so it's of huge importance that we all work together to bridge the digital divide and end digital exclusion once and for all. 
 
"These awards are an amazing achievement and a true recognition of all the amazing work by our team of volunteers. Without volunteers, the Keeping Digital Foundation would not be able to support the hundreds of local residents we support every single month. Volunteers are the backbone of our society, and it's with thanks to selfless individuals who wish to benefit their local communities, that we can work to build support programmes that will benefit every single resident. We wish all of the finalists the best of luck in the upcoming awards, and we cannot wait to represent the Keeping Digital Foundation at the ceremonies!" 
 
David Thompson, co-founder and Volunteer Coordinator of the Keeping Digital Foundation, added: 
"We are thrilled to announce that Keeping Digital Foundation has been shortlisted as finalists for two prestigious community awards! This recognition is a testament to the dedication and hard work of our amazing volunteers who go above and beyond to support digital inclusion and provide engaging digital making activities for everyone in York, Northallerton, Harrogate, and North Yorkshire. We are incredibly proud to be recognised for our commitment to making a difference in our community and we are grateful for the opportunity to continue our important work. Thank you to all who support Keeping Digital Foundation!" 
 
The winners for the York Press Community Pride Awards will be revealed at York Racecourse on Thursday 5th September 2024, whilst the winners for the BBC Make A Difference Awards will be revealed at York Racecourse on Friday 13th September 2024. 
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