Power up – initiative gets boost to combat digital poverty
Power up – help combat digital poverty
Power to Connect and Battersea Power Station provide local children with the means to learn during tough times – but need your help, too…
Battersea Power Station has donated a further 100 laptops to Power to Connect, a campaign it launched in partnership with Wandsworth Council in April 2020, to support local families who were struggling to home school and stay digitally connected during the COVID-19 crisis, all as part of a determined ongoing scheme to end digital poverty and enable schoolchildren to access learning resources.
According to Ofcom, 9% of families in the UK do not have access to a laptop, desktop or tablet at home. When the new national lockdown was announced on 4 January 2021, the first day of the new school term, 400 families in Wandsworth requested digital devices from their local schools.
Power to Connect is aiming to meet this immediate need for 400 devices by February half-term. In addition to the 100 laptops from Battersea Power Station (BPS), Power to Connect has managed to source a further 200 devices, including 100 donated by Wandsworth Council. It is appealing to businesses and members of the local community to help source the remaining 100 used or unused, fully working tablets or laptops, to ensure local schoolchildren can access online learning and not risk falling behind in their education.
Between April and December 2020, Power to Connect collected 500 devices, which were refurbished into Google Chromebooks and donated to families in Wandsworth via 60 schools and to local community organisations. It is aiming to reach a target of 1,000 devices by April 2021, which will mark one year since the Power to Connect campaign began. BPS also donated £10,000 to Wandsworth Council, to provide £10 data vouchers to ensure local families could use these devices to stay digitally connected.
BPS via the Battersea Power Station Foundation aims to invest in effective community-based organisations, which are working to make lasting improvements to the lives of people and neighbourhoods in the boroughs of Wandsworth and Lambeth. BPS has contributed over £165,000 to several charities throughout the COVID-19 pandemic including Age UK Wandsworth, the NSPCC, St George’s Hospital Charity and Wandsworth Foodbank.
Abigail Brady, Headteacher at Ronald Ross Primary School in Wandsworth said: ‘Thanks to the donations from Power to Connect, families have told us their lives have improved immeasurably, as the stress of managing access to online learning has eased. The devices have had a positive impact on pupils’ motivation to learn and families have been able to see their children progress and not lose pace with their classmates.’