We're celebrating our 7th birthday!
Posted on 4th May 2023 at 12:00
Happy birthday to us, happy birthday to us, happy birthday the Keeping Digital Foundation... happy birthday to us! We're entering our seventh year of running free digital support across North Yorkshire.
Rewind to 2016 when the idea of running York Pi Jam entered the heads of a couple of teenagers. It was to be an event where young people could find out more about the Raspberry Pi's, get hands on with them and ultimately get started in STEM. York Pi Jams would be a way where young people can have equal opportunities to learn to code, regardless of which school they went to and the resources that school had. York Pi Jams would always be free and would always be welcoming.
Fast forward a year and the first York Pi Jam was a huge success. We then worked with the already existing York Raspberry Jam to run free bi-monthly digital making activities across York, where young people could build new projects and get hands on making.
In 2018, we were nominated for Best Event at the Minster FM Listener Choice Awards and became finalists, a huge achievement for our teenage organisers.
We then launched what was the York Pi Jam website in 2019, hosting online digital making activities that people could get involved in at home, helping even more young people get making.
And then in 2020, Coronavirus hit the world and we had to stop our in-person digital making activities. We heavily invested time in our online resources so that the making could continue at home, but being a small organisation the pandemic really impacted us and relaunching was difficult.
2020 was also the year that we announced we would be acquiring the York CoderDojo activities, allowing us to improve our in-person digital making activities as soon as we could relaunch.
Luke, one of the founders of Keeping Digital Foundation then was nominated and won the York Press 'Spirit of the Youth' award for the online digital making activities we ran throughout the pandemic.
In 2021, founders Luke and David announced York Pi Jam was to rebrand as the Keeping Digital Foundation, a new organisation that was to improve digital making activities and digital access across York (and North Yorkshire).
We were then finally able to relaunch our in-person bi-monthly digital making activities (thanks to the easing of Coronavirus restrictions). Our digital making activities continued to be free, and we finally relaunched York CoderDojo!
In August 2022, we 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 and we shortly launched our first Digital Cafe service at Tang Hall.
The Keeping Digital Foundation then became a Community Interest Company, and launched more digital making activities across the region in places like Northallerton and Harrogate, with support of North Yorkshire Council.
We continued to expand our Digital Cafes with new digital inclusion services popping up in Chapelfields, Heworth and Huntington, helping even more residents get equal access to the internet.
We're also now proud to have just been announced finalists in the YorkMix 2023 Choice Awards for Charity of the Year.
So that brings us to present day, where we are North Yorkshire's leading digital inclusivity charitable organisation, providing free digital making activities for young people across the region, and working hard to make sure everyone has equal access to digital technologies, including the internet, and the skills and knowledge required to use them effectively.
Nearly 1 in 5 adults lack the most basic digital skills needed for everyday life, with over 1 in 20 households having no internet access, neither fixed line nor mobile. Having the option to get connected is vital, with much support from councils and businesses moving online in recent years.
Our digital making activities ensures every young person has an equal chance in developing creativity and problem solving skills, with equal access to STEM education regardless of school catchment area.
Our Digital Cafes are an extremely vital service across the City of York, tackling digital exclusion and supporting residents to get online and to build confidence with technology to help them avoid scams and to get the support they need when they need it most.
We would not be able to do our incredible work if it wasn't for the amazing support of our volunteers - thank you all so much!
Happy birthday to the Keeping Digital Foundation and we cannot wait to see what our seventh year brings us!
We're looking for amazing volunteers like you!
Volunteers are a valued part of our team here at the Keeping Digital Foundation and we work hard to ensure that our volunteers have a rewarding experience.
We've got some exciting volunteering opportunities available across York & North Yorkshire!
Founder and Community Coordinator
Tagged as: Keeping Digital Updates
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