Ford to match-fund donations up to £10k via smart benches

Plus: Get Online Week

The Ford Motor Company Fund is to match-fund donations up to £10,000 from smart benches being set up across London.

The philanthropic arm of the global company is working with Strawberry Energy to install 20 benches across the capital that will also offer a range of digital applications, including free access to Wi-Fi and charging, both wirelessly and via ports, for smartphones, tablets, cameras and wearables, as well as access to noise, carbon dioxide, humidity and temperature data.

Users of the urban pit stops, which are located in Islington, Lewisham and Southwark, will be able to donate to St Mungo’s, Rethink Mental Illness and Macmillan Cancer Support.

The Good Things Foundation has launched this year’s Get Online campaign, established to help tackle digital exclusion in the UK.

Get Online Week runs from 2 to 8 October, offering thousands of events across the country where people can get free and friendly help to "Try 1 Thing" – using the internet to do just one thing that they usually do offline. According to the foundation there are 15.2 million people in the UK without the skills to make the most out of the internet – 7.8 million of those don’t use the internet at all and 7.4 million use it less than once a week.

Helen Milner OBE, chief executive of the Good Things Foundation, said: "Campaigns like Get Online Week not only help to raise awareness of digital exclusion, still a huge problem even in 2017, but also reach new people still nervous about doing more online and help them find the support they need to take that next step. We believe in a world where everyone can benefit from digital, and Get Online Week is critical in encouraging thousands of people to explore the internet for the first time."

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