Rory, who is leading a national campaign for rural broadband, has applauded donations of software by industry giant Microsoft to charities in the region. The local MP said, “what matters is that in addition to installing broadband, we get the best possible use from it. Local charities can derive huge benefits from technology. Microsoft committed in a meeting I held with them in parliament two months ago to do more for Cumbria. I hope this is just the beginning.”
Rory said: “Charities – particularly smaller, local ones, for whom every single penny counts – need all the help they can get. This is a brilliant initiative that is simple, practical and effective. Particularly now, with the prospect of superfast broadband for all becoming a reality, we need to ensure that our strong voluntary sector is not left behind. However small your charity might be, do please take advantage of this great package of support.”
Working alongside the Charity Technology Trust (Registered Charity No.1073954) through their Charity Technology Exchange service, Microsoft is one of a growing number of technology companies who make donations of their products to the voluntary sector. It currently offers eligible organisations up to ten titles, including our most popular software packages such as Microsoft Windows 7 and Microsoft Office 2010 for example. Organisations can receive up to 50 licences of each title every two year period. Donations include free upgrades for two years and access to a range of e-learning resources. Not all charities are eligible, but the majority are, and there are no limits on the number of organisations who can receive a donation. Grantees pay a nominal administrative fee to the Charity Technology Exchange, which supports the running of the services.
Since the launch of this programme in 2006, Microsoft have supported over 6700 UK charities, donating software with a retail value of more than £50 million. In Penrith and the Border, beneficiaries have included Eden Mind Limited, Eden Carers, Eden Mencap Society, East Cumbria Family Support Association, Eden Youth Work Partnership, Eden Community Outdoors Ltd, Appleby Heritage Centre, Prism Arts, Chrysalis (Cumbria) Ltd and the South Tynedale Railway Preservation Society. In addition to software donations, Microsoft also supports initiatives to provide affordable computer hardware, free IT skills training resources, access to skilled IT volunteers and general advice and guidance on technology for charities.
If you would like more information about these programmes or have charities in your constituency you would like to recommend, please visit here.