It's been a year since Osborne Clarke and national youth charity UK Youth came together for a long-term partnership and funding programme to tackle digital poverty in young people.

The partnership is closely tied to Osborne Clarke's business strategy which is centred on doing right by its people, clients and communities. Bola Gibson, Head of Responsible Business at Osborne Clarke, comments, "The partnership with UK Youth is our biggest single investment in our communities. By tackling digital inclusion, we can power social mobility. At the same time, there is a clear link with this investment and our client conversations about digitalisation."

Setting out on the mission the goal was clear, to support youth organisations to meet young people's digital needs and improve their digital literacy. Commenting on the last year of the programme, UK Youth said: "We have seen evidence of how grantees have used their grant to increase engagement in digital provision, which in turn has enabled them to increase young people’s engagement with education and employment provision. This shows that improving digital access and provision can directly influence and improve social mobility and reduce poverty."

Year one highlights include:

  • Funded 20 youth organisations. We provided funding to 20 youth organisations both local to Osborne Clarke's offices and some located in digital coldspots across the country.
  • Reached nearly 6,000 young people. Through the partnership, we have directly reached a minimum of 5,820 young people, giving them the digital tools and skills they need to thrive in today's digital world.
  • Enhanced Digital Inclusion: The grants have predominantly been used to purchase digital hardware and cover core costs. This has enabled youth organisations to maintain or expand their digital inclusion work, ensuring that young people have access to the resources they need.
  • Widened reach and impact: An impressive 85% of youth organisations we supported agreed that the grants helped them to widen their reach or work with their beneficiaries for longer periods of time, demonstrating the very real difference our partnership is making in the lives of young people.
  • Improved digital access and capability: All 20 youth organisations reported improved digital access capacity and staff capability, enabling them to sustainably deepen their impact.
  • Further pro bono support: Half of the youth organisations want us to provide pro bono support, which will be delivered in Year 2 of the programme. This collaborative effort further strengthens our commitment to making a lasting difference.

Here is a video case study showcasing the outstanding work of two youth organisations in the programme, Highway Hope and Compass Collective: 

Osborne Clarke is committed to addressing digital poverty. As well as our ongoing financial investment, the firm is working closely with UK Youth to create further initiatives in 2024. Being a responsible and ethical business and employer underpins Osborne Clarke's business strategy. The Osborne Clarke For Good framework is the firm's way of ensuing it's a good corporate citizen, a good employer and a good business.

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