A volunteer for many years, Anthony Wigram had worked with a number of charities, including the Samaritans and Victim Support, before taking up the post of Chairman with the PHAB (Physically Handicapped and Able-Bodied). It was around this time that personal computers were becoming prevalent but still extremely expensive, and Anthony recognised the value in access to computers and basic IT training for people who are blind, deaf or have physical disabilities. He set out to provide this training, in the security of their own homes, on their own computers, at a cost they could afford – and so, in 1998, UCanDoIT was born.
They’ve now provided over 50,000 individual training sessions and have a team of 65 tutors working across the UK, all providing one-to-one individual training sessions, and building self-confidence and independence in each and every one of their students.
UCanDoIT’s life changing digital inclusion also makes a huge difference in other ways, like combating loneliness, isolation, negative or limited educational opportunities and economic disadvantages.
In 2014 UCanDoIT became double Award winners in the Tech4Good Awards, winning both the Digital Skills Award and the People’s Award, as voted for by the general public.
CEO Mary Payne says winning the Awards gave them recognition for their work:
“Collaborative and partnership working opportunities presented themselves, and doors opened that previously we had little or no chance of entering, including an invitation to speak at the House of Lords.”
“As a small charity our profile was lifted and we were proud to display the Tech4Good Awards logos on our literature. It was a great opportunity to tell all of our funders and supporters of our achievement, and to thank them for their valued support.”
“Before winning the Awards, we were described as one of the 3rd sectors best kept secrets, but as double Award winners, the secret was well and truly out!”