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Sky and Peter McVerry Trust partner to tackle digital inequality

Lord Mayor of Dublin, Caroline Conroy, opens first Digital Hub
Lord Mayor of Dublin, Caroline Conroy, opens first Digital Hub

The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Caroline Conroy, joined Sky Ireland to launch the first Sky Up Digital Hub in Ireland at a Peter McVerry Trust young persons service in Dublin 8, as part of Sky Ireland’s partnership with the organisation.

Backed by an €11 million fund, the ‘Sky Up’ programme is a new initiative that aims to help up-skill 250,000 people across Ireland and the UK by providing them with technology, connectivity and training. The initiative is targeted to support people under 25 in low-income areas and those over the age of 65 - the two primary groups most at risk of digital exclusion.

Speaking at the launch, Sky Ireland CEO, JD Buckley, said: "The Sky Up Digital Hubs we are opening across the country will ensure that those who are most at risk of digital exclusion are given access to skills, technology, and connectivity. It is important to Sky that we support the communities where our customers and employees live and work, and that is why we are very proud to launch this initiative with our partners at Peter McVerry Trust, to deliver the first Sky Up Digital Hub in Dublin 8. We look forward to the rollout of more hubs across the country next year.”

In 2023, Sky Up Tech Grants will help young people aged between 16 and 25 who have left the care system, to get connected. Recipients will receive a personal tech device pre-loaded with relevant software, an internet connection through Sky Broadband and access to skills training.

Pat Doyle, CEO of Peter McVerry Trust said: “We’re delighted to expand our valued partnership with Sky Ireland in such a tangible and practical way. Our specialised homeless accommodation service, here in Dublin 8, provides 35 young people with a safe and secure home whilst they transition into adulthood. The Sky Up Digital Hub will help these young people access education and training opportunities online – enabling them to up-skill and eventually progress on to live independent lives.”

Sky Ireland first partnered with Peter McVerry Trust in 2021 as part of the Sky Cares programme. So far this year, the Sky Cares programme has seen almost 300 Sky Ireland staff volunteer over 1000 hours of their time. Sky staff have spent time fundraising for and volunteering at the charity’s residential community service in North County Dublin.

Also speaking today, Lord Mayor of Dublin, Caroline Conroy, said: “The opening of this Digital Hub by Sky Ireland with Peter McVerry Trust will provide a vital service for the charity’s young participants. We must ensure that those in our society who are vulnerable are not excluded in the digital age and can have equal access to the digital world. This initiative from Sky Ireland is a practical example of how we can help address digital inequality.”

The Sky Up initiative is part of parent-company Comcast’s ‘Project UP’ – a comprehensive initiative to advance digital equity and build a future of unlimited possibilities. Backed by a $1 billion commitment to reach tens of millions of people over the next decade, Project UP encompasses the programmess and community partnerships across the organisation that connect people to the internet, advance economic mobility, and open doors for the next generation.

About Sky:

Sky is Europe’s leading media and entertainment company and is proud to be part of the Comcast group. Across six countries, we connect our 23 million customers to the best entertainment, sports, news, arts and to our own award-winning original content.

Following the launch of Sky Glass, we now offer customers our strongest ever line-up of products and services. As well as the new TV with Sky inside and everything integrated, customers can enjoy the award-winning Sky Q with all your favourite channels and apps in one place, and with Sky Go you can now access an even better experience on your devices. Sky TV has new channels, new shows and new deals with Peacock, Paramount+ and apps including Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video, Spotify, YouTube, ROXi, Highbrow, Fiit, and more. Our streaming service, NOW, brings viewers all the enjoyment of Sky with the flexibility of a contract-free service.

Building on the success of Sky Originals like Chernobyl, Gangs of London and Brassic, we are doubling our investment in original content by 2024 through Sky Studios which will open in 2022, is expected to create over 2,000 new jobs and generate an additional £3 billion of production investment in the UK over the first five years. Sky News provides impartial and trustworthy journalism for free and Sky Sports, our leading sports broadcasting service brings customers some of the biggest and best global sporting events from the Premier League to Formula 1 and everything in between. Sky Cinema is the home of Sky Original films with brand new films launching every month alongside an unrivalled range of the latest cinema releases and on demand library.

We believe that we can be a force for good in the communities in which we operate. We’re committed to being Europe’s first net zero carbon entertainment company by 2030 and we’re proud to be a Principal Partner and Media Partner of COP26. We take pride in our approach to diversity and inclusion: we’ve been recognised by The Times and Stonewall for our commitment to diversity, and we’ve set ambitious 2025 targets to continue to increase diversity and representation.We’re also committed to investing £30million across our markets over three years to improve our approach to diversity and inclusion, and to tackle racial injustice.

Sky employs just under 1000 people in Ireland with over 750 of those based at its Head Office in Burlington Road in Dublin. As part of our Sky Cares programme, we’ve teamed up with the Peter McVerry Trust to tackle digital inequality through our Sky Up programme. In 2021, Sky Ireland became Primary Partner of the Republic of Ireland Women’s National Team.

About Peter McVerry Trust

Peter McVerry Trust is a national housing and homeless charity committed to reducing homelessness and the harm caused by substance misuse and social disadvantage.

The charity provides low-threshold entry services, primarily to younger people and vulnerable adults with complex needs, and offers pathways out of homelessness based on the principles of the Housing First model.

Peter McVerry Trust’s national headquarters are located in Dublin with regional offices in Cork, Limerick, Kildare and Louth.

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