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Digit<all> Celebrates Two Years of Impactful Digital Skill Development

Digit<all>, a UK charity established in 2022, recently celebrated its 2nd Birthday at the Roseate in Reading with a clear message of its impact – having reached 200,000 young people.

The charity aims to help young individuals develop their digital skills within the realms of climate action, sustainability, and physical activity. With the UK facing a technical skill shortage, evidenced by 43% of STEM vacancies remaining unfilled, and recognizing that the climate crisis can only be addressed through digital skills and engineering, Digit<all> is fervently dedicated to cultivating these vital skills. Particularly passionate about empowering young girls, the charity strives to offer them creative, active, and innovative experiences.

The birthday event brought together charity staff, volunteers, ambassadors, and partners, including Amazon, a crucial collaborator in the charity's endeavours. They gathered to celebrate the charity's growth and achievements, as well as its impactful initiatives with schools, community groups, looked after children, and home-schooled children across West Berkshire and beyond. Derek Peaple, Chair of the charity, commenced the proceedings by highlighting the charity's expansion and reiterating its foundational principles. He emphasised the importance of instilling discerning technology usage in children and applauded the remarkable efforts of Grace Blake, Kiara Jones, and Manisha Gurung, who serve as ambassadors for the charity. These young women, occupying roles in digital and engineering within AI, Cyber Security, and Digital Health, exemplify the charity's dedication to fostering future talent in these domains.

Peter Marshman, CEO of the charity and Code Ambassador for the UK, extended gratitude to partners such as Amazon Future Engineer, The National Lottery Heritage Fund, UKRI, AVIVA, and Greenham Trust for their generous donations and contributions. These invaluable resources enable the charity to conduct face-to-face activities with young people and provide essential training for teachers, community leaders, and youth workers. Peter highlighted the significant impact achieved, with 3,839 teachers trained, over 200,000 young individuals reached across 59 countries, and support extended to 1,347 schools and community groups.

He introduced the latest initiative, Coding for Climate Action, offering resources and training to empower young people to utilise programmable micro:bit devices in creating early warning systems for natural hazards. Matt Hewlett, education and community lead, elaborated on the critical importance of Digit<all>'s work, drawing from his own experiences in education. He underscored the challenges of engaging young people in computing and highlighted on-the-ground activities that demonstrate the charity's vital role in enlivening STEM education for children.

  • National bird watch – using micro:Bits top radio transmit populations of local bird species

  • Coding for Climate Action – creating early warning systems using the micro:bit

  • Your Voice is Power – learning to mix music using code through social justice

  • Hedgehog Hackers – coding devices to monitor populations and coding devices to place inside hedgehog houses to monitor the environment

  • Tackle Coding – coding devices to log data about physical activity including steps and acceleration

  • Out of this World – learning about astronaut fitness through a range of themed space coding activities

The highlight of the event was the insightful Q&A sessions featuring Grace, Kiara, and Manisha, who unveiled the launch of the new CODE Awards, spotlighting the achievements of young people and their digital solutions. They graciously fielded a range of questions about their journeys toward digital careers and how they serve as role models to support the charity's continued drive to lead in engaging girls in computer science.

Looking forward, Digit<all> has set a target to reach 500,000 young people by 2025. Through collaboration with organisations via corporate social responsibility programs, the charity is committed to expanding its reach by welcoming more volunteers and ambassadors.

Digit<all> extends its sincere thanks to all who attended the birthday event and celebrations.

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