February 24, 2021
Tech giant Amazon has donated 100 devices to Power to Connect, an initiative launched by the council and Battersea Power Station in April 2020 to provide laptops and data vouchers to local families.
This donation among others has helped Power to Connect to deliver 1,000 devices to disadvantaged families struggling to engage in home schooling since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. In total almost 5,000 laptops have been distributed to Wandsworth families during the pandemic through various schemes, including direct donations from the council.
Power to Connect, which became a Community Interest Company in May 2020, has also received a donation of £8,000 from The Taylor Family Foundation, which supports charities that help young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. This follows a £5,000 grant made by The Taylor Family Foundation to Power to Connect in 2020. In addition to this, the initiative has secured £10,000 from the National Lottery Awards for All.
Between April and December 2020, Power to Connect collected 500 donated devices, which were refurbished into Google Chromebooks with the help of IT volunteers and donated to families in Wandsworth via 60 schools and local community organisations, with the support of local transport volunteers. Battersea Power Station also donated £10,000 to Wandsworth Council, to provide £10 data vouchers and data dongles to ensure local families could use these devices to stay digitally connected.
Earlier this year, with schools closed again due to the introduction of a third lockdown in the UK, the council and Battersea Power Station donated a further 100 laptops each to Power to Connect to help meet an urgent need for 400 devices in the borough. Battersea Power Station also launched the Team Battersea 100 Challenge, which tasked its staff members, business contacts and suppliers to raise 100 devices by February half term. The challenge was a big success with 103 devices and £5,000 being donated. These donations combined with those from members of the local community ensured that Power to Connect was able to meet the 400 device mark and contributed to the initiative delivering its 1000th device to a local school this week.
Councillor Will Sweet, Wandsworth Council Cabinet Member for Education and Children’s Services, said: “We are very grateful to Amazon and The Taylor Family Foundation for these generous donations – and to everyone who has supported Power to Connect.
“We set up this partnership with Battersea Power Station to make sure our borough’s young people did not miss out on opportunities because of digital exclusion. We know these devices have made a real difference to members of our community and these latest donations will help us achieve our aim of providing a laptop to everyone who needs one.”
Isabel Chapman, Director at Power to Connect, said: “We are thrilled to have received this support from Amazon and The Taylor Family Foundation. Since April 2020, Power to Connect has grown from a local initiative with one initial box of unused laptops, to over 300 residents and businesses donating devices. Power to Connect is made possible by a team of dedicated volunteers who give up their time each week to collect, update and deliver devices. We are incredibly proud to have such fantastic partners in local schools, businesses, the council and Battersea Power Station. Covid-19 has shown how important digital equality is and will continue to be for all children and young people in Wandsworth. We look forward to playing our part in this and reaching our next milestone of 1,500 donated devices.”
For further information on how you can support ‘Power to Connect’, please visit powertoconnect.co.uk/