Dell EMC today announced that it is entering into a three-year strategic partnership with Barnardos, the children’s charity. The partnership, which involves the provision of financial support as well as the sharing of employee expertise, skills and the volunteering of time, is designed to support the good work and continued vision of Barnardos.

Dell EMC together with its employees from campuses in Cork, Limerick and Dublin will work with the team in Barnardos to help raise the profile of the charity’s National Collection Day. The annual collection day which takes place every September has significant potential to help raise much-needed funds for children as well as to raise the profile of the valuable work that Barnardos is doing in communities across the country. The Dell EMC team will help publicise the flagship day to enhance its reach through the provision of technical support and advice. Hundreds of Dell EMC employees are expected to take to the streets in Dublin, Cork and Limerick to dramatically increase the number of collection points in 2017 and thus help to raise more funds.

Both organisations also plan to work together to address the growing digital divide that exists in Irish society. Barnardos has a network of well-established homework clubs and friendship clubs throughout the country. Working with Dell EMC, they plan to introduce a number of CodeWork Clubs introducing technical literacy and understanding and coding skills to children who wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to learn what is increasingly becoming a core life skill.

Commenting today, Denis Lucey, VP Dell EMC Services and Site Leader, Dell EMC Dublin said: “The team at Dell EMC is in awe of the work that is done by the team at Barnardos and its network of committed volunteers. We hope that our strategic partnership will enable them to have even more of an impact through the work that they do. Children are amongst the most vulnerable in our society. While the vast majority are loved and cherished it is deeply upsetting when you learn of children who are living in difficult and challenging situations. The Barnardos team is helping to fill some of the gaps in those children’s lives and we are delighted to support and enable that work.”

Fergus Finlay, CEO, Barnardos said: “The impact that a partnership with an organisation like Dell EMC can make is limitless. The open approach that the company is taking in terms of offering skills, expertise, technical support and of course investment will help us to achieve a number of our strategic goals in the year ahead. We are particularly delighted that for the first time through our partnership with Dell EMC, we will bring a number of CodeWork Clubs to our centres across the country. The need in this area is growing all the time and this is an innovative approach to tackling this new area. We are looking forward to piloting this in the months ahead.”

The Dell EMC Barnardos CodeWork clubs will be piloted at a chosen location in Limerick. A ten-week programme is being devised which will then be replicated in Cork and Dublin and in time, it is hoped it could be scaled nationally. Children will be taught core IT literacy skills while also being introduced to the joys of coding. Dell laptops are being provided for use in the clubs.

Dell EMC employees have also committed their support to Barnardos National Collection Day. A team of people from the company’s three sites in Cork, Limerick and Dublin will work closely with the charity’s team to elevate this fundraising activity so that it delivers more funding and brand awareness for Barnardos.