Didcot charity awarded £100K to improve access to technology

SOFEA (South Oxfordshire Food and Education Alliance) has been granted £100,000 from the Time After Time fund, an initiative established in 2022 by Virgin Media O2 in partnership with environmental charity Hubbub.

SOFEA’s project was one of eight winners selected from more than 120 entries.

Part of the Getting Oxfordshire Online scheme, SOFEA’s project was set up during the pandemic to supply devices to individuals in need, particularly school children requiring access to remote learning.

Oxford Mail: Devices provided by SOFEADevices provided by SOFEA (Image: Barley Communications)

It has since been extended to help people who cannot afford to buy devices but would benefit from having a laptop or smartphone.

Its aim is to tackle the digital divide while reducing e-waste by refurbishing and rehoming donated digital devices.

More than 3,000 people have benefitted from the project so far, receiving devices, connectivity and support.

Oxford Mail: SOFEA laptopsSOFEA laptops (Image: Barley Communications)

Ben Tuppen, SOFEA project manager, said: “We’re thrilled to have received support from Virgin Media O2 and Hubbub’s Time after Time fund.

“Our project provides free devices for the most in need in our community and we’re dependent on funders like this to continue our vital work.”

“This grant has helped secure our service for the next year, aiming to refurbish more than 1,500 devices and provide them to people across our community.”

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