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Christmas charity drive in Leith gives gift of connectivity to those who need it most

Posted: 22nd December 2020

Leith Gives, coalition of 18 different charities and organisations, partners with CityFibre to help tackle digital poverty in the area 

22 December 2020: Scores of vulnerable people in Leith will benefit from free digital connectivity just in time for Christmas – allowing them to stay connected with friends and family.

Leith Gives is a collaboration of local charities, business and volunteers which is seeking to support those experiencing difficulties in the wake of COVID-19.

At its heart, the organisation is helping to tackle the hardship of digital poverty across the festive period, while also supplying food and clothing parcels.

A total of 100 ‘dongles’, with funded airtime, providing plug and play internet access – are being distributed by Leith Gives over the coming days and weeks.

The dongles have been supplied by CityFibre, which is currently investing at least £100m rolling out full fibre across Edinburgh. Made possible by CityFibre’s collaboration with Vodafone, the tech being donated to Leith Gives will gives service users free 4G connectivity for six months – helping to bridge the digital divide.

Ben Macpherson, MSP for Edinburgh Northern and Leith, says digital poverty is something which deserves more attention. He commented: “Enhancing digital inclusion and getting more people online has never been more important. I am grateful to CityFibre for their very generous contribution to Leith Gives, which I know will make a real difference for local people.

“The collaborative work that Leith Gives has been doing over the past few weeks has focused on tacking food poverty and digital exclusion. Through the Leith Gives partnership, I commend CityFibre and other commercial organisations for stepping up to support frontline partners and public sector bodies. Together we are working to help each other in Leith, as we persevere through these challenging times.”

John Evans of Leith Gives, said: “Digital poverty exists in Leith and it has become an even more pressing issue during lockdown, whether it’s the need for home-schooling or simply keeping in touch with friends and family. We’re doing everything we can to tackle the issue by distributing tech to those most in need, while providing training on how to make the best of it.

“CityFibre has shown real commitment to tackling this important problem and we hugely appreciate their donation, especially at a time of year when even the smallest gesture can make a massive difference.”

Elaine Doherty, CityFibre’s City Manager for Edinburgh, said: “Digital is for everyone and we must make sure nobody is left behind. If this year has shown anything, it’s how important it is that everyone can access fast and reliable internet connectivity.

“Leith Gives is a fantastic initiative which recognises how important an issue digital poverty is. We’re honoured to be partnering with them this Christmas to help bring the gift of connectivity to those who need it most. Whether it is for staying connected with loved ones, conducing online shopping or taking part in online learning, we hope that our donation can make a real difference at such a special time of year.”

To donate to Leith Gives, visit www.justgiving.com/campaign/LeithGives

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