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Britain’s youth join forces with digital and tech industry to tackle issues around food poverty

BIMA, the UK’s digital & tech trade body, has announced the launch of BIMA Digital Day 2020, an initiative that brings digital careers to life for 11-16-year olds.

Britain’s youth join forces with digital and tech industry to tackle issues around food poverty

Transforming from a single day into a month-long programme of virtual activities during the month of November, over 10,000 young people in classrooms and home schools around the country will use digital and tech skills to tackle issues of food poverty—creating ideas and solutions to raise public awareness and help food aid organisations provide assistance to the right people.

With the support of teachers and top experts across the tech and digital sector, student teams—from London to Aberdeen and Norwich to Bristol—will compete in a sponsored, nationwide challenge for the chance to win £500 cash for their school and other prizes by coming up with innovative ideas to aid emergency food support organisations and raise awareness of the challenges faced by those experiencing food poverty.

“With levels of household food insecurity in the UK among the highest in Europe, too many young people will have a direct experience of the impact of this crisis in their lives,” said Natalie Gross, BIMA Co-President and VP, Brand Marketing, EMEA at EPAM. “BIMA Digital Day gives Britain’s young people an opportunity to share their solutions while learning valuable skills for the future.”

Despite the impact of Coronavirus restrictions on the economy, BIMA recently found that 44% of member agencies are still recruiting and 95% reported that a lack of skills was holding back their growth (source: BIMA), indicating that the digital sector remains a positive career option for young people and Digital Day is as important as ever.

“We are delighted to be part of one of the UK’s longest running digital outreach programmes,” said Shamilka Samarasinha, Global Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at EPAM. “The ongoing work we do to open up new digital skills for today’s youth is something we’re proud of and supporting BIMA Digital Day is another extension of how we support young people coming together to connect and share their ideas and creations that will make a difference in the world.”

BIMA Digital Day 2020 is supported by industry partners EPAM Systems, ITV, ITV Content Delivery, Signpost and Liberty Global.

How it Works

BIMA Digital Day launches today (November 3) with the first of four weekly modules. Each week, experts will host a session designed to help students meet the challenge, complete the scenarios and understand more about the world of digital and tech (see below). BIMA will run each session as a live event, so students can ask questions. Recordings will be available, so schools have complete flexibility to run the program as they wish.

Students will submit their ideas to be judged at the end of November. BIMA will announce the winners in mid-December.

BIMA Digital Day 2020 Challenges

Option 1.

How do you manage an increase in demand with a decrease in availability? Think about how you might use digital and technology to aid emergency food support – providing the right people with the right food and products. This might include advertising for more donations from the public at supermarkets or online. Choose a group to support e.g. parents with young children, or the elderly.

Option 2.

Create an online communications campaign to raise awareness of people’s right to healthy food and the challenges facing those experiencing food poverty. Think about your target audience (the local community, school, Council) and how you might best attract their attention and support. Could technology also involve and empower people who have experienced this issue themselves?

BIMA Digital Day Quick Facts

  • 90% of past participants say they would consider a career in digital as a direct result of the day.

  • Over 200 schools and over 10,000 11-16-year olds are expected to take part around the UK in 2020.

  • Students will submit their activities to be judged by a panel of experts with winning schools awarded a cash prize.

  • BIMA Digital Day works with challenge partners to create real world briefs for students to work on. Past partners include Vodafone UK, The FA, BBC Studios, Microsoft and Channel 4.


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