New CEO to help tackle digital divide in Wiltshire

By Ben Carey on 12 March, 2024

Wiltshire Digital Drive (WDD) has appointed Natalie Luckham as its new part-time Chief Executive Officer.

The not-for-profit organisation recycles and redistributes technology to the community free of charge, having first been established during the 2020 lockdown to help combat the negative effect of school closures across Wiltshire.

WDD is a Community Interest Company (CIC) that bridges the ‘digital divide’ by providing a highly relevant, practical and free service. Over the past four years, more than 3,000 refurbished devices have been refurbished and distributed by Wiltshire Digital Drive’s team, with schools, charities, councils and families from across Wiltshire among those to benefit.

Having already saved over 9,000 electrical donations from being unnecessarily sent to landfill sites, WDD is now firmly focused on the future, scaling up its operations and looking to establish new partnerships with small businesses.

Natalie Luckham said, “While initially focused on helping young people and their families to remain digitally connected during a period when we were all ‘locked down’ in our homes, WDD’s focus is now much broader. As an organisation, we are wholly committed to providing resources to individuals who require access to digital technology to remain connected in an increasingly online world.

“The digital divide is ever-widening; millions of people across the UK don’t have the basic digital skills or access to technology that’s so vital to actively participating in daily life today. Our key mission as a CIC is to move technology from person to person to enable education, combat isolation and improve lives — and by working closely alongside like-minded small businesses and corporate partners, there’s so much more we can achieve.”

As part of WDD’s refreshed strategic vision, local suppliers, volunteers and new hires have been appointed to work alongside the team. Media consultancy Second Mountain Comms will be focused on building greater awareness of the CIC’s work in the local community and helping to position its impact on a national scale.

Natalie Luckham added, “We’re committed to meeting both the current and future digital needs of the local community and believe that technology can be put to much better use. Over the past 12 months, we have witnessed huge growth in local appetite for our services, and we’re very proud to have been in a position to help hundreds of displaced Ukrainian families to remain connected in the midst of conflict and set up their lives in their new communities. As the UK continues to grapple with the cost-of-living crisis and we become increasingly aware about climate change, there’s never been a greater need for organisations like ours.”