Wiltshire company celebrates contribution to reducing digital poverty

By Barrie Hudson - 26 July 2022

Business
  • Naturally Social founder Natalie Sherman

    Naturally Social founder Natalie Sherman

Marketing & communications agency Naturally Social celebrates its seventh year in business this month.

The founder of the Wiltshire firm, Natalie Sherman, has been reflecting on everything achieved over the years.

“I have to shout about Wiltshire Digital Drive”, she said. “Creating and running a non-profit was not on my agenda during the lockdown, but that’s the power of social media. A single tweet has led to all of this...”

Wiltshire Digital Drive is a Community Interest Company which  was set up to refurbish and recycle donated laptops to give back to the community, promoting education in Wiltshire and bridging the digital divide.

Joining forces with other local businesses in October 2020, the team at Naturally Social produced the brand, governance and strategy that led to the non-profit disrupting an industry and becoming one of the most talked-about projects in Wiltshire in 2021.

Focusing heavily on social media, the team remember reaching more than 200,000 people with just one perfectly crafted Facebook post. This, along with targeted PR, led to members of the public and local businesses, including Honda and Kingfisher PLC, donating their old tech to the cause. 

That cause has pledged to reduce the digital divide by breathing life into unloved laptops and matching them to individuals who needed them most. More than 1,750 devices have now been distributed to families, organisations, and charities, and one in five schools in Wiltshire has been supported by them to date.

Alongside the successful drive for laptop donations, and the marketing campaign that ensured devices were matched with those who needed them most, the team at Naturally Social has also worked to ensure Wiltshire Digital Drive’s sustainability. They have run a crowdfunding campaign, were successful in securing grant funding and organised events which have together generated more than £250,000 in 12 months.

Natalie said: “When I set my company up, I wanted to make sure every business I work with was giving back to the local community - purpose before profit. Although we’ve been involved with many charities over the years, getting Wiltshire Digital Drive off the ground, running its comms strategy, and achieving these results, is definitely one of our greatest achievements. 

"What has made this especially poignant for me is that we managed to achieve this during one of the most difficult periods in our business’ history.

“It's important we take this time to reflect on what we’ve accomplished over the years and shout about it. It’s good for morale and it helps us to remember why we do what we do.”

Further information about the firm and its work can be found at www.naturallysocial.co.uk

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