Disadvantaged Backgrounds

How our grants impact different disadvantaged backgrounds

Disadvantaged Backgrounds

We pride ourselves on considering a clear, but also broad definition of ‘disadvantage’ when it comes to the digital divide.

This has helped us to award grants which help people from many different types of disadvantaged backgrounds.


For those suffering with economic deprivation, The Access Foundation has helped Mustard Tree and The Big League.

A digital education programme for the disadvantaged and homeless was made possible with a £43,000 grant to the charity Mustard Tree. 1,803 people have benefited from this project, not only through the skills they acquired but also from increased confidence and the ability to find work. This is especially important for vulnerable citizens that struggle with social isolation as a greater sense of connection and belonging is created. The grant for The Big League has also seen huge success in creating a digital suite for underprivileged people suffering with digital exclusion and lacking in digital confidence. The space is also utilized by multiple community organisations that confront the root causes of poverty and support citizen’s needs. As a result, the digital suite has become a valued space within the community hub for many deprived areas in Hartlepool.


We believe social mobility is important for achieving equality within society, no matter one’s background.

Therefore, we paired up with Loughborough, Aston and Birkbeck Universities to provide scholarships for 22 students wishing to study courses in Computer Science, Cybersecurity and IT management for Business. After Aston University received the donation of £120,000, the head of department for computer science Jo Lumsden said “The award from The Access Foundation will allow more students to enrol with us; it will have such a profound impact on many young lives, and, by extension, those around them. We look forward to working with The Access Foundation on this life-changing scholarship programme.” This perfectly summarises what a great impact the donation has had for many new students, and we are delighted to be able to help more people get involved in an industry we are passionate about.


In order to help those at a physical disadvantage, The Access Foundation granted money to Berkshire Vision to support a project that aimed to improve digital skills of visually impaired adults in Berkshire.

Over 300 people gained invaluable independence and confidence thanks to this project. Moreover, many of the 300 revealed that it had considerably reduced their feelings of isolation which is crucial for maintaining good mental health.


Mental wellbeing affects all aspects of a person’s life.

Therefore, The Access Foundation decided on choosing 4Louis as one of the staff sponsored charities, to help those who have experienced the loss of a child through miscarriage or stillbirth and assist in the recovery process from this traumatic event. The £3,500 donation paid for room hire, refreshments and goody bags for the quarterly 4Louis National Midwifery Forum in Manchester (an inspiring event where 120 midwives and health care assistants assemble to share experiences and advice with bereaved families).


The use of effective rehabilitation systems for people in prison can greatly improve their life chances on release.

Unfortunately, the prison environment hinders inmates from being able to effectively learn and gain qualifications. To minimise this problem, £27,000 was given to DWRM, a charity which facilitates access to higher education for prisoners. The money from The Access Foundation has been used to acquire 25 specially certified Chromebooks for inmates so they don’t have to rely on the limited printed paper resources available. Thanks to this funding, we have opened the opportunity to apply for professional and financially sustainable employment to 50 people that would have otherwise struggled to find similar level work when released.


The young and the old can also struggle with being technologically literate and need some guidance to help make use of digital resources.

Early years Education is a key step for social mobility, statistics show that by age 11 if their early learning is adversely affected a student is 9 months behind in their attainment and students never recover. This year, Learning with Parents made use of £53,000 to start development of a password-less app which allows 8,000 families of primary school aged children to easily access learning ideas. These ideas are then used in off-line settings to help their children whose education suffered during the Covid-19 lockdown. Additionally, £25,000 was given to a digital inclusion project – the Digibus. Based in Gloucestershire and run by IT Schools Africa, the bus prioritises deprived areas with the lowest internet usage and has helped 1,700 visitors in gaining essential digital skills. It is fully equipped with computers, laptops, tablets and even a 3D printer, robotics, and a virtual reality system. The Access Foundation was eager to facilitate such a project as it combines improving digital skills, supporting education, connecting communities, and improving access to health and other services all in one place.