• Technology leader partners with national homelessness charity Crisis, bringing together community of thousands of IT companies, students and developers to help find tech solutions to challenges facing the charity
  • Launches digital skills initiative for people experiencing homelessness in partnership with Crisis

LONDON, UK – International Volunteer Day, December 5thWhat if we thought more broadly about what we could do to help people in need around the world, to be even more inclusive and sustainable, and truly make a difference?” Chuck Robbins, Chairman and CEO, Cisco.

Homelessness is an issue that technology leader Cisco is partnering with organisations around the world to help address. In the UK, Cisco is today announcing a partnership with Crisis to help further their ambition to provide vital help so that people can rebuild their lives and be supported out of homelessness for good.

In the UK alone, homelessness affects more than 170,000 families and individuals. Every year, Crisis helps people directly out of homelessness, through providing one-to-one coaching, education, housing, employment and health services at 11 centres across Britain. Crisis also campaigns for the changes needed to solve homelessness for good.

With a community in the UK of over 4,000 IT partner businesses, 10,000 developers and networks in universities, schools and colleges that include 330 Cisco Networking Academies, Cisco are calling on the technology community to support Crisis by using its expertise to help address three challenges:

1 – How can we use technology to help connect homeless people to job opportunities?

2 – How can we help to address the issue of digital inclusivity for people experiencing homelessness?

3 – How can we help the charity to use technology to improve their own processes?

In addition, the two organisations will collaborate to bring the Cisco Networking Academy, the world’s largest not for profit digital skills training provider, to Crisis Skylight centres across the UK to support digital skills development for the homeless. .

Sarah Farquhar, Director of Organisational Development, Crisis:“Partnerships such as this with Cisco are how we will scale to help end homelessness for good. We see how technology can help our work and we’re delighted to be working with Cisco and the community that it has brought together. The ingenuity that we’ve already seen when looking at our challenges from a new perspective is inspiring, and the enthusiasm to help is infectious.”

Kathryn Baddeley, Head of CSR, Cisco UK & Ireland: “Brilliant people, a knack for technology and more than twenty years of delivering digital skills programmes around the world. Three things that we are well known for, and three things that map to Crisis’ challenges, which makes this a partnership that we are extremely proud not only to be a part of, but also to be extending through the IT community in the UK.” She added “Our goal is to benefit a billion people around the world by 2025, and homelessness is a cause close to Cisco’s heart so we’re delighted to be naming them an official Cisco charity partner.”

The partnership so far:

Already this year, Cisco and Crisis have partnered on a number of initiatives. From a sponsored walk with hundreds of people in the IT community including Cisco partners Cisilion, Comstor, Logicalis and CAEthat raised in excess of £28,000, to a dedicated hackathon with 14 universities and 65 students, including Glasgow, UCL and Royal Holloway in which teams spent 24 hours to collaborate on ideas to address the three identified challenges.

Employees from across Cisco have been working with the organisation to look at opportunities to help improve their processes, from their work at Christmas, to how they can use technology to improve the training process for volunteers – launching this month.

Angela Whitty, Managing Director, Partner, Cisco UK & Ireland:“We work with a community of problem solvers every day to tackle challenges in the business world with technology. Those same people share our desire to use what we know, what we’re good at, to help benefit everyone. Already with Crisis and our partner organisations, we’ve pooled our manpower and expertise in small ways, but imagine what we could be capable of with an ecosystem of over 20,000 people in 4,000 organisations who collaborate with Cisco in the UK today.”

Throughout the year Cisco will take the above challenges to its community, through industry and partner events, employee fundraising and volunteering opportunities.



Amy Lucas

PR Manager, Cisco UK & Ireland