Thousands of schoolchildren and young people in the borough have received a timely lockdown lift after Haringey Council pledged £200,000 to the Digital Divide Appeal, a joint initiative with Haringey Giving, as the local authority continues to stand with the community amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
The council has pledged a sizeable chunk of its Hardship Fund to support those pupils and students struggling to access remote education during the ongoing pandemic.
There’s a collective, community commitment behind the cause now too, with local charitable organisation the Bloomfield Trust pledging significant funding of £150,000 and support to the campaign as well in conjunction with the Raspberry Pi Foundation.
This will go a long way to helping bridge the digital divide at schools across Haringey and make a whole world of difference to disadvantaged and most-in-need young people here in the borough.
Cllr Kaushika Amin, the Deputy Leader of Haringey Council and Cabinet Member for Children, Education and Families, said:
We’re providing this substantial funding for children and young people here in Haringey as we know just how absolutely essential it is that they have the right devices and technological equipment to continue their education remotely from home.
I’m really pleased and proud to support Haringey families at this time, and warmly welcome the additional funding and support from a local charitable organisation like the Bloomfield Trust. It’s fantastic to see local stakeholders rallying round to support the Haringey community in an hour of need.
I’d urge our amazing community here in Haringey to continue to support the Digital Divide Appeal by donating whatever they can readily afford, no matter how small. Your donations really could make a whole world of difference to the lives of children and young people in need of help and support in our borough. Thank you.
Haringey Giving has enabled the public, businesses and funders to make donations through its website and has brought partners together to provide support quickly to those who need it most.
Chair of Haringey Giving, Julia Slay, commented:
Digital access is a huge issue for our borough, which has impacted greatly on many in our communities, particularly children and young people experiencing disadvantage.
We are delighted that the Bloomfield Trust, in conjunction with the Raspberry Pi Foundation, and Haringey Council have come forward with this amazing offer to provide computers for so many of Haringey’s children and young people.
We’re really appreciative of the public and local businesses for their support for the appeal, and of Haringey’s schools, pupils and staff and the lengths they’ve gone to in helping raise awareness of this vital campaign – especially considering the additional demands on everyone during the ongoing pandemic.
The Founder of the Bloomfield Trust, Martin Hellawell, said:
The Bloomfield Trust in conjunction with the Raspberry Pi Foundation has been very active nationally in this critical area of the digital divide.
As a Haringey-based charity already involved with great local organisations like AFK, Markfield, and The Harington Scheme, we are delighted to extend our activities in the digital divide area to a group of schools in the borough.
The pandemic has highlighted this issue, but it was always there, and we hope this contributes to making a lasting difference in this area.
Philip Colligan, CEO of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, commented:
It’s transformational for young people and families to have a computer for learning at home.
I’m pleased we’re able to work with Haringey Council and local schools to help Haringey’s community close the digital divide and get Raspberry Pi computers into the hands of young people in their borough who need them the most.
Following on from the additional provision of almost 800 extra Free School Meals last month, this substantial support of the Haringey Digital Divide Appeal showcases once again the council’s ambition to create a fairer and more equal borough.
For further information on the appeal, or to donate, visit the Haringey Giving website (external link).