We’ve been supporting Power to Connect since they were developing as an idea back in March – here’s an update.
From the beginning of the pandemic Power to Connect has collected and refurbished over 380 devices, donating them to 45 local schools and 6 community organisations (including us!). With schools closed for the first time in UK history, the inability of the poorest students to access technology meant they were unable to access the wealth of educational resources made available online, and an undeniable digital divide was exposed in Wandsworth.
Power to Connect’s mission is to continue to support schools and families in Wandsworth through what is proving to be a complicated and difficult time, even though schools are still open. There are 6,000 families in Wandsworth eligible for free school meals and approximately 10,385 children live in low-income households in the borough, with limited access to devices to stay connected and access schoolwork, during Covid-19 and beyond.
Power to Connect is asking local residents and organisations if they are able to donate any working laptops, tablets and desktop computers. Power to Connect securely wipe the existing data and operating systems on devices and update them into Google Chromebooks. Local volunteers are recruited via social media and through local community partners. Volunteers provide specialist IT knowledge in repurposing the donations, as well as support with transporting devices. 55 volunteers have signed up to support to date. All devices must have a working charger and be no more than 8 years old.
Devices can be donated through their website here: www.powertoconnect.co.uk
Residents and businesses can pledge to donate their devices in the future here: https://www.powertoconnect.co.uk/pledge/
And… their contact email is [email protected]