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Leeds Digital Ball raises £100k for Leeds Digital Inclusion Fund

Courtesy Leeds Digital Ball.org

Organisers of the Leeds Digital Charity Ball have donated a total of £100,000 to the Leeds Community Foundation to support the Leeds Digital Inclusion Fund and its aim of bridging the digital divide in the region.

Over 550 people from across the city attended this year’s charity ball. The funds will be passed to Leeds Community Foundation who will distribute the money providing vital funds for local charities through the Leeds Digital Inclusion Fund.

Money raised on the night was thanks to a combination of ticket sales, a raffle, and live and silent auctions which saw attendees bid on a number of ‘money can’t buy’ prizes. Post event, a number of sponsors also helped to top-up the fundraising amount, taking the total to a round £100k.

Working with Leeds Community Foundation to distribute the funds, the annual Leeds Digital Charity Ball brings together members of the tech community in the city to raise funds to help to raise awareness and tackle the underlying causes of digital exclusion. The ball highlights the challenges caused by the digital divide and raises funds for groups providing support and access to technology, enabling skills in a constantly evolving digital world.

The Leeds Digital Inclusion Fund is a partnership between Leeds Community Foundation and Leeds City Council’s 100% Digital Leeds team. The fund supports community organisations to incorporate digital inclusion in their day-to-day work in sustainable ways. The team has come together as a collective to “empower the tech community in Leeds and drive positive change.”

The Leeds Community Foundation is the only organisation of its kind in Leeds and Bradford, working with hundreds of community organisations each year. Through the partnership with 100% Digital Leeds, the two bodies will work together to ensure that no one in Leeds is excluded from the digital world.

Sponsors of the event included digital consultancies Hippo Digital, Axiologik and Opencast Software, international law firm Addleshaw Goddard and security cloud provider SailPoint. The event also boasted further sponsors including Amazon, BJSS, DCR Partners, Brighter Consulting, DataShed, Audacia, ALT Legal, Cognizant, Iridium77, Bruntwood and SevenSun.

Mike Quate, founder of By Diffusion, 1% for the City, and chair of the Leeds Digital Charity Ball, said: “The Leeds Digital Ball was phenomenal. I’m so grateful to everyone involved, who came along, listened to me and the other board members, listened to Cleveland Henry about Leeds Community Foundation, and Jason Tutin about 100% Digital Leeds. To everyone that spent their hard earned money on being there for the important cause, thank you!”

Eve Roodhouse, from Leeds City Council, said: “We loved bringing everyone together for a fabulous evening, especially our guests from Leeds City College and the organisations who received grants last year through Leeds Community Foundation. Too many people are disadvantaged because they don’t have the skills or equipment to access digital services and we are working to change this. We were thrilled with the generosity and willingness to get on board with our shared mission to tackle the digital divide in Leeds.”

Jason Tutin, from 100% Digital Leeds, added: “100% Digital Leeds is looking forward to working with Leeds Community Foundation to distribute the money raised by the Leeds Digital Ball. The grants from the Digital Inclusion Fund will help even more organisations to increase digital inclusion in their communities over the next 12 months. It might be too soon to start thinking about the 2024 Ball, but we’re already looking forward to next year.”

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