LIFT for Learning

LIFT for Learning


Harnessing the digital medium to deliver projects that inspire learning



Our mission is to demonstrate the belief that everyone deserves an equal chance to succeed and flourish in education through project work that takes advantage of the digital medium as a powerful tool for social inclusion.

Speech by Lord Puttnam (then Sir David Puttnam) at LIFT formal launch.



Our objectives are as follows:



LIFT was charitably founded in 1995 by educators in a climate of rising technology usage and immense opportunities presented by the Information Revolution. There was also growing awareness of a Digital Divide threatening deeper levels of exclusion for those most disadvantaged.

Originally called LIFT — Learning for Life with Technology, the organisation restructured in 2005 and adopted the shorter name of LIFT for Learning.

Activities between 1995–99 focused on community outreach and research, both in the UK and internationally. During this period LIFT developed accessible IT projects for schools, libraries, museums and neighbourhood centres, also joining forces with local groups to run computer fun days.

In 2000 LIFT launched the Community Web initiative, running IT workshops linked to popular themes. Community Web's appeal led to Family Web, helping parents to support their children’s learning while gaining new skills for themselves as adult learners.

LIFT launched DigiSmart as a pilot project in 2002 to support children whose literacy struggles were preventing them from accessing the opportunities of the World Wide Web. The DigiSmart project expanded nationally, eventually working in partnership with over a thousand schools and supporting more than 20,000 under-achieving children to improve their reading.

In 2015 LIFT scoped and devised a new 3-year project to protect the most vulnerable young people online, with the outreach and initial pilot stage commencing in 2016. Key project criteria are to equip young people with a repertoire of smart strategies for keeping safe, in tandem with building literacy skills.



Our projects are developed from the grassroots up and address gaps in provision. They include:





LIFT for Learning
Mutual House, 70 Conduit Street
London W1S 2GF




LIFT for Learning is a charitable organisation and a company limited by guarantee incorporated in England.
Company registration number 05544951.

© LIFT for Learning 2018. All rights reserved. Any unauthorised copying of these materials, including images licensed to LIFT, is prohibited. Other images and trademarks appearing on this site are acknowledged as trademarks of their respective owners.

Privacy policy | Cookie policy


Our founding notebook!


Jacquie Disney, one of LIFT’s founders, is inspired whilst working in Cambodia and sets down ideas for a new approach to technology

First exhibition


Lord Puttnam (then Sir David Puttnam) delivers LIFT keynote speech at BETT, the UK’s leading educational technology show, 1996


Stationery with a lift!


It’s official: vibrant orange letterheads for LIFT and business cards that break the ice at meetings –— by literally lifting

Featured in Government initiative


Invited to participate in Department for Trade and Industry (DTi) conference announcing ‘IT for All’ wider access campaign

Formal launch at BAFTA


LIFT promotes its mission at the British Academy of Film & Television Arts, with Lord Puttnam delivering a prophetic speech

Exploring a look …


Early design ideas for LIFT resources experiment with making IT more approachable – hand-drawn and focusing on people

First publication

First publication

Strategies for schools wanting to increase parental involvement using technology, with case studies of pioneering practice

Community computer funday


Breaking down barriers — LIFT goes on the road with popular hands-on events in venues not associated with IT, 1997–99

Getting the message

Getting the message

‘Putting the COMMUNITY into dotCOM’ — rallying call on first brochure as LIFT gears up for major programmes

First major proposal

First major proposal

Web of possibilities — LIFT seeks funding for far-reaching programme of resources and training. Secures first-ever grant support!

First office strong on history

First office strong on history

The year 2000: LIFT starts to develop and deliver Community Web from office space in a renovated Victorian Leathermarket

By popular demand

By popular demand

Demand from community partners for support to foster family learning through IT leads to a dedicated programme

Our yellow phase!


Huge fun developing and trialling Computer Playtime online resource in schools, libraries and voluntary sector venues

We launch DigiSmart


LIFT pilots DigiSmart, 2002, developed for children struggling with new literacy demands posed by the World Wide Web

Award makes us smile


Grant support and a delightful extra from the Roald Dahl Foundation (now Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity)

LIFT Trustees gone — living on


Fiona McLean, 13 Nov 1952 – 4 Sept 2011
Strong, uncompromising, loyal

Barbara Mottershead, 3 May 1951 – 31 May 2014
Forthright, digital, brave

Inspirational team meeting

Angel of the North

LIFT training events in North East England allow time for a sense of wonder to inspire team planning

Blue sky developments

Creating adventurously

Continuing adventurously — fearless LIFT team member poses on the edge to encourage blue sky thinking for ambitious new project