Business Charity Awards: Mid-term Partnership - Microsoft with UK Youth

Awarded to an outstanding ongoing partnership between a company and a UK charity that will last between three and 10 years

UK Youth, supported by Microsoft
UK Youth, supported by Microsoft

What was the partnership?

Young people who already face multiple forms of disadvantage are the least likely to develop the digital skills to thrive in adulthood. Microsoft came together with UK Youth to equip disadvantaged young people with digital skills.

What did it do?

In 2012, the partnership launched 75 Microsoft IT Youth Hubs in areas where digital deprivation was highest. Youth workers were given funding, training and resources to transform digital access for 11,000 young people. Microsoft volunteers worked alongside youth workers, helping them to deliver digital skills training to young people.

In early 2016, the partnership launched Generation Code to address the lack of computer science skills in young people. The programme is led by trained Code Champions, young people aged 16 to 25, with support from youth workers. Young people are supported to make all sorts of creations, from robots to musical instruments.

Why did it win?

Generation Code has engaged more than 20,000 young people in digital creation in about 50 locations across the UK. Microsoft's employees have donated more than 3,000 hours of volunteering. Microsoft has also raised more than £218,000 for UK Youth outside of the programme and provided an additional £35,000 to help the charity harness the potential of artificial intelligence.

What did the judges say?

"The volunteering aspects of the scheme are nicely complemented by a wide range of successful employee fundraising initiatives, completing the perfect package," commented John Thompson, director of the fundraising and management consultancy Changing Business.


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