January 27, 2021
Wandsworth Council and Battersea Power Station (BPS) have each donated a further 100 laptops and devices to tackle digital poverty in Nine Elms and across the Wandsworth borough.
Power to Connect, a joint venture by Battersea Power Station and Wandsworth Council was set up in April 2020 to support local families who were struggling to home school and stay digitally connected during the coronavirus crisis.
According to Ofcom, 9 per cent 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 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 these families by February half term.
In addition to the 200 laptops from the council and Battersea Power Station, Power to Connect has managed to source an additional 100 devices. Power to Connect is now appealing to businesses and members of the local community to help source the remaining 100 tablets or laptops, to ensure local schoolchildren can access online learning and not risk falling behind on their education.
Battersea Power Station Foundation also donated £10,000 to Wandsworth Council, to provide £10 data vouchers to ensure local families could use these devices to stay digitally connected.
The foundation, has contributed more than £165,000 to a number of charities throughout the coronavirus pandemic including: Age UK Wandsworth, the NSPCC, St George’s Hospital Charity, Wandsworth Foodbank, Waste Not Want Not, Carney’s Community, Caius House, Providence House, FAST, Devas, Elays Network, the Nine Elms Arts Ministry and the Rotary Club of Battersea Park.
Abigail Brady, Headteacher at Ronald Ross Primary School in Wandsworth said: “Power to Connect has supplied devices to some of our most disadvantaged families this year.
The story is usually the same – too few devices to go around, making remote learning impossible for many. 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 pupil’s motivation to learn and families have been able to see their children progress and not lose pace with their classmates.”
Councillor Will Sweet, Wandsworth Council Cabinet Member for Education and Children’s Services, said:
“We set up Power to Connect with Battersea Power Station at the start of the pandemic to ensure no child was left behind, and since then hundreds of laptops have been distributed to local families. We’re grateful to BPS for this further donation at a time when children are again learning from home and would like to thank everyone who has helped us keep communities digitally connected.”
Alex Baker, Director of Communities and Sustainability at Battersea Power Station, said: “Supporting local communities sits at the heart of our core values at Battersea Power Station and children are key to building the communities of the future. We are extremely grateful to the Battersea Power Station shareholders for this donation and to the volunteers behind Power to Connect, who show true community spirit by giving up their free time and expertise to ensure devices reach the most vulnerable children in the borough.
“There are still many more families who are experiencing digital poverty and we welcome businesses and members of the local community getting in touch to donate unwanted, fully working laptops to help us meet this immediate need for 100 devices before February half term.”
Find out how you can support ‘Power to Connect’ and help tackle digital poverty in Nine Elms.