January 20, 2022
Power to Connect is asking local businesses to get involved in its work helping local families get online.
The partnership between Wandsworth Council and Battersea Power Station has handed out more than 1,600 donated laptops since the start of the pandemic.
The council and the Power Station are now working to bring together a network of Key Supporters asking organisations to pledge an annual contribution of devices or money so work can continue in the community.
To celebrate Power to Connect turning two years old, a special event, hosted by the Mayor of Wandsworth, will be held for current and prospective Key Supporters to hear more about what they do as well as witness their crucial work first-hand. Join the event taking place on 29 March by registering through Eventbrite.
Power to Connect has distributed donated devices plus wi-fi dongles and data vouchers to dozens of local families. It was set up in response to the pandemic to ensure children without computers at home did not miss out on online learning. Now the partnership has a long-term plan to target digital exclusion and enable all families to access online services and learning.
As well as providing hardware, it is also running free digital skills sessions for parents to teach them the skills they need to get the most out of devices, and to keep their children safe online.
Abigail Brady, headteacher, Ronald Ross School, said: “Power to Connect has supplied devices to some of our most disadvantaged families this year. They report being able to keep up with online learning and seeing their children progress, not lose pace with their classmates. Parents have told us their family lives have improved immeasurably, as the stress of managing access to online learning has eased.”
The partnership with Battersea Power Station forms just one part of the council’s wider efforts to offer digital support to families in need. In total, including as part of the Power to Connect partnership, the council has provided around 8,000 tablets and laptops to local schools and families since April 2020.
Cllr Will Sweet, Wandsworth Council’s cabinet member for education and children’s services, said: “The Power to Connect partnership has achieved so much during the pandemic and we are very proud to be part of it. It is very much a community scheme, with local residents and businesses helping Wandsworth families. As the partnership continues to work to close the digital divide post-pandemic, I would urge local businesses to see how they can get involved.”
If you are interested in the free digital skills sessions or in becoming a Key Supporter, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Find out more about Power to Connect or follow @PWRtoConnect on Twitter.