Devices to help digital divide

Coronavirus has intensified the digital divide in the UK – particularly having its greatest impact on children and young people who are at risk of losing out on their education.

Access to the internet and digital devices to take part in live online lessons and to carry out home learning has been critical for children of every age in order to keep up with the national curriculum.  Not having access has meant that many have missed out and are behind some of their peers.

Pupil from Risley Avenue Primary School receiving a computer screen and peripherals donated by Raspberry Pi and The Bloomfield Trust

Locally, the impact of Covid19 on digital exclusion has been hugely helped by the Haringey Digital Divide Appeal.  Launched by Haringey Giving in association with Haringey Council and developed in partnership with Raspberry Pi and the Bloomfield Trust.

Inspired by this story?

Donate now   Help us raise funds

We spoke to two Tottenham primary school head teachers and a pupil who have benefitted from the ‘Together We Can COVID-19’ grant. 

Linda Sarr, head teacher at Risley Avenue Primary School and Dawn Ferdinand, head teacher at The Willows Primary School explain how the grant has helped.

Hi Linda, what has been the greatest impact of the Haringey Giving grant?

“With the hugely appreciated £10,000 grant we have managed to provide new laptops to many children that were completely cut off from online access - and to those that were fighting to get on a device in their own homes.  The Raspberry Pi devices have helped with significant amounts of lost learning.”

How have the devices helped the family unit?

“It’s been so amazing to see our families collecting them and being incredibly grateful. We have also been able to help parents with online workshops and showing them how to use the systems.  Our school is very diverse and we have been able to help many of those families where English is not their first language, together with other complex needs too.  Children have been able to connect with teachers and their classmates which has just been invaluable.”

With significant gaps across the country in learning still, what hopes do you have for those that need to catch up?

“We are now thankfully in a good position and can let the families keep the Raspberry Pi devices to enhance their learning at home. We want to carry on building on the progress we’ve made during Lockdown.  We are currently looking at the needs of the Year 6 children who are preparing for the transition to secondary school and supporting their online learning is crucial for that.”

“I was using a mobile phone to try and do my schoolwork.  The laptop is so much better and has made me so happy.  I haven’t missed any lessons and I can do all of the research for my work online.  It was really good to see the assemblies, my classmates and teachers.  I am now teaching my mum and my little sister how to use the computer.  The best thing has been seeing my friend’s faces and for things to feel normal and fun.” Year 6 pupil, Oserem, aged 11

Hi Dawn, how has the Haringey Giving grant helped The Willow Primary School?

“The grant for just over £6,000 gave our community an incredible boost of support where it is most needed.  The 83 Raspberry Pi devices and Wi-Fi access are now being used by children in homes where there are just not enough devices to do proper school work.  So this funding has made a significant difference.  Further challenges we have seen though are the lack of space – and quiet space – for some of these children without distraction to listen and engage with lessons.  So, the headsets we have been able to give out have been essential too.”

Inspired by this story?

Haringey Giving wants to keep supporting more local community projects like this but we need the help of our Haringey Heroes. With your help we can fund more projects and support Haringey’s most vulnerable people.

Donate now   Help us raise funds