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Nominet Trust launches £500,000 fund for digital inclusion programme

Nominet Trust and the Baring Foundation launch a fund for tech innovations designed to engage older people in creative arts

Nominet Trust has partnered with the Baring Foundation to launch a tech fund for digital products aimed at getting older people interested in creative arts.

The funding programme, called Digital Arts and Creative Ageing, has an available £500,000 for applicants with technology products aimed at over 65s.

Successful applicants for the programme will receive business support and up to £90,000 each to develop their proposed projects.

Vicki Hearn, director of Nominet Trust, explained partnering with the Baring Foundation will enable Nominet Trust to better support winning projects and offer more support in scaling and sustaining models put in place as a result of the programme.

“Through our grant funding, partnerships and the NT100, we see extraordinary examples of how the internet and digital technologies are tackling a broad range of social challenges, across numerous sections of society,” said Hearn.

Nominet Trust does extensive work with organisations using technology for good, supplying support, funding and driving an awareness of the importance of using digital for good causes.

The fund will act as an 18 month accelerator for the successful applications, providing the funding and support to develop their ideas. Nominet Trust is looking for digital technologies which will help older people participate in creative activities, such as painting, sculpting, singing or drama.

Applications are open to UK-based businesses, including charities and not-for-profits. Organisations applying must show how they can effectively use digital technology as a tool to engage older people, while also having a model that has the potential to be self-sustaining and financially viable.

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The Baring Foundation is supporting the project following research into the health and wellbeing for over 65s, which found more than one million people over 65 claimed they felt lonely.

A study from the Baring Foundation found accessing digital arts can have positive general health benefits for the older generation.

David Cutler, director of The Baring Foundation, said: “We know that access to enjoying the arts has unquestionable benefits for health and wellbeing of the over 65s. There can be little doubt as to how digital inclusion has the ability to further enhance older people’s access to the arts.

“Our partnership with Nominet Trust recognises this and works to give the UK’s ageing population further access to the arts through the use of digital technology.”

Projects such as this aim to tackle the lack of digital inclusion in the UK, where 20% of the population still do not have access to digital technologies.

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