Children at Ronald Ross Primary Loving Their New Laptops

Power to Connect donates an extra 200 devices to Wandsworth schools

One of the Ronald Ross pupils with her new laptop. Picture: Ronald Ross

Two hundred laptops have been donated to children at local schools including Ronald Ross Primary as part of an effort to ensure nobody is left behind due to lack of technology.

The Power to Connect initiative is a collaboration between Battersea Power Station (BPS) and Wandsworth Council set up a year ago to tackle digital poverty. By the end of last year, 500 devices had been donated to local families and community organisation and the total is now reaching 1,000.

The used laptops are refurbished into Google Chromebooks and 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.

Abby Brady, Headteacher at Ronald Ross, “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.”

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.

Between April and December 2020, Power to Connect collected 500 devices, which were and donated to families in Wandsworth via 60 schools and 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 via the Battersea Power Station Foundation aims to invest in community-based organisations in the boroughs of Wandsworth and Lambeth. It has contributed over £165,000 to a number of charities throughout the Covid-19 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.

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.”

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April 30, 2021