Laptops are lifeline for disadvantaged students

Some students don’t have access to a computer at home which makes remote learning a challenge during the Covid-19 crisis.

But one Ipswich business stepped in to supply IT equipment to some of the town’s most disadvantaged youngsters.

Haven Power (owned by Drax Group) is one of 11 Cornerstone Employers in Ipswich which are tasked with preparing young people for the fast-changing world of work and addressing social mobility in the town.

It approached New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership – which is spearheading the Cornerstone initiative with the Careers & Enterprise Company – and asked for help in identifying the students most in need of laptops and wi-fi dongles to continue their schoolwork from home.

Laptops have been provided to six schools, a local college and an educational trust in Suffolk, including:

  • Ipswich Academy
  • Chantry Academy
  • Thomas Wolsey SEND School
  • Copleston High School
  • Suffolk New College
  • St Alban’s Catholic High School
  • One Sixth-Form
  • Raedwald Trust

 

Enterprise Co-ordinator Jordan Holder led on the project and worked with the Communities Manager at Haven Power to identify the students without access to technology at home.

“I’ve always been astonished by the commitment Haven Power & Drax Group make to Schools and the local community in Ipswich through volunteering their time and they have went above and beyond to support learners in Ipswich with this much needed equipment,” said Jordan.

“Coronavirus has revealed the scale of the digital divide between many families. Haven Power has not just gifted some IT equipment to disadvantaged pupils, it has given those students a lifeline to an education they would have been denied for simply being less well-off than their peers in a time of crisis.”

Victoria Addis, Careers Leader Ipswich Academy, said: “This donation will make a huge difference to our students. Many have unfortunately been unable to access devices or the internet since the lockdown started which has put them at a disadvantage.

“As we stay apart during this period, it is important for our pupils to stay connected to their teachers and fellow students by having computers and internet access at home. We are incredibly grateful for Drax for their support in helping bring our school community together.”

Drax Group has invested £200,000 in almost 700 laptops with pre-paid internet access for partner schools local to its operations in England and Scotland.

Will Gardiner, Drax Group CEO, said: “We’re very happy to help people in our communities by providing our partner schools with the technology they need to get more students connected online so they can keep learning during the Covid-19 crisis and beyond.”

To find out more about New Anglia Local Enterprise Adviser Network, click here 

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