Published On: 10th October 2023

Access Foundation Grants £52,500 to Support Social Exclusion Projects

For many reasons individuals become excluded and marginalised from society. Through no fault of their own, people find themselves in situations whereby they cannot find work or participate fully in economic and social life.

This year the cost-of-living crisis has compounded the problem; the Access Foundation has pledged to help build a more inclusive world through technology to help remove barriers that cause people to become isolated from society.

The Foundation has awarded a £10,000 grant to the Kent Enterprise Trust (KET) whose mission is to improve the employability of local vulnerable and disadvantaged people.

A raft of social issues from unemployment, mental and physical health, poor attainment, low skills, criminal records, loneliness and isolation have contributed to an excluded community in the area, without the basic means to find employment and help better their situation.

KET encourages employability, entrepreneurialism and enterprise. The Foundation grant supports the Trust’s Social Job Club which provides a place for people to develop skills, gain qualifications, find meaningful work and even start their own business.

Keith Morris, CEO said, “Without Access standing behind vulnerable people and helping them to become members of a modern digital society they may have continued to drift where now they have a promise of a helping hand into a more stable and connected future”

An organisation in Coventry,  St Francis Employability was awarded a £16,383 Foundation grant to address local, social and economic inequalities that hinder people from migrant communities from integrating in ​the city.

The funds will help mitigate the digital divide in the city and ensure computer resources, WIFI, Microsoft licenses and security are accessible to all. The Trust will also run accredited IT courses for the most disadvantaged and digitally deprived, teaching basic computer skills and ensuring that the community can fully access the online world.

A project manager from the Trust said, “The grant means we are able to reach out to those most isolated and in need of that digital link, this is something we haven’t been able to do before and we are excited to support those in our community most in need.”

This year the Foundation has also funded a £20,250 project for Social Square (UK), an organisation which steps in when poverty-stricken families have nowhere to turn, providing the much-needed assistance for basics such as food and clothing.

The new project funded by the Access Foundation will provide young adults (16-25) with the opportunity to join IT courses, to supply them with tools on how to run a business in the digital world. The courses will provide extensive training and include a choice between 5 courses: Frontend, Web-design, Tech Browse, Data Analytics, and Running a Business.

Mirel Hopstein, Trustee of Social Square (UK) said, “We are overwhelmed with gratitude and delighted that the Access Foundation have partnered with us to fund the full IT training project to help support young people from financially challenged backgrounds. This grant will be life changing as young people will gain access to the tools on how to run a business in our digital world.”

The Foundation has also awarded a £5935 grant to women’s charity Future Female Society established to close the gap in inequalities for women and girls and to increase wellbeing, raise aspiration, self-esteem, and confidence.

The grant will help fund the charity’s Woman2Woman radio project, whereby women who have English as a second language are given opportunity to learn how to use digital technology, enabling them to communicate and express themselves in everyday life.

Kim Trotter Founder and CEO of Future Female Society said, “We are so grateful to receive this funding from the Access Foundation, as it helps us develop the next phase of the project and ensure we are really embedding important IT and digital life skills into the sessions and the women’s lives.

Our project is making such an impact on the women we work with, creating opportunities for them to express themselves and find their voices. Upskilling them digitally ensures they have even more tools at their disposal to continue to grow and blossom.”