Formed in 2016, the Keeping Digital Foundation have been working with the local community to create exciting projects and improve services across the region.
The Keeping Digital Foundation launched as York Pi Jam in April 2016, working on a city digital making event to give young people the opportunity to try out digital making and to pilot these activities for a larger roll out. With a hugely successful event taking place in 2017/18, York Pi Jam then created monthly digital making activities and worked with organisations across the city of York to host and organise more of these activities.
In 2018, we were finalists for Best Event at the Minster FM Listener Choice awards.
In 2019, yorkpijam.co.uk was launched with free online activities for people across York, North Yorkshire and England to participate in, free of charge.
In March 2020, a week before the first UK lockdown was announced to combat the spread of Coronavirus in our communities, York Pi Jam suspended all events and moved all of the worksheets online in a week. York Pi Jam then partnered with local media to advertise these free resources in papers (both online and digital). Later on in the year, York Pi Jam also introduced 'Code with us' which occurred every weekend and encouraged young people to create projects alongside the team online. Over the 12 weeks, over 2,000 projects were created by young people across the country.
In May 2020, the Big Charity Giveback was launched. The Big Charity Giveback was an opportunity to thank local volunteers for local charities. We then highlighted these charities so that it was easier for people to donate to local great causes. Over the scheme, we donated dog blankets to Dogs Trust, thousands of tea bags for local kitchens and many chocolates for the amazing volunteers at charities across York.
In June 2020, York Pi Jam announced it was relaunching York CoderDojo to provide more digital making activities for young people across North Yorkshire. In July 2020, yorkcoderdojo.co.uk launched.
In July 2020, Keeping You E-Safe was launched with characters designed by local design studio 'Buttercrumble'.
In November 2020, the lead of the project and organisation, Luke Castle, was nominated and won the York Press 'Spirit of the Youth' award.
In January 2021, it was announced York Pi Jam was to rebrand as the Keeping Digital Foundation from the 1st of March 2021.
In March 2021, we worked with local radio station YorkMix Radio to celebrate our rebrand and also to support local businesses. York CoderDojo also expanded with the launch of Selby CoderDojo. The Keeping Digital Foundation also announced it was launching a new campaign to push for better mental health funding to improve services across the city and region for young people who were suffering from low mental health as a result of the pandemic and pressures on exams and education.
The Keeping Digital Foundation continues to promise amazing services and amazing volunteering opportunities at our CoderDojo activities, MakerFest events and E-Safety work.