Essex & Suffolk Water Donates 30 PCs To School Facing Digital Poverty

Thirty youngsters will now be able to complete lessons online after receiving a generous donation of computers from a local water company.

Essex & Suffolk Water has donated the computers to the Holy Cross Primary School in Thurrock as part of a campaign to give all young students equal opportunities.

The water company has worked in partnership with Essex Police and Dot Com Children’s Foundation to donate the PCs to Holy Cross Primary School, in South Ockendon, giving children access to vital digital materials during the second national lockdown.

The donated equipment will make a significant difference to the students, who will now be able to use online resources within the classroom during the pandemic.

In addition, the pupils will now be able to use the desktop computers to take part in the Dot Com Digital Programme, created with Essex Police and the Foundation, which focusses on online safeguarding and cybersecurity for youngsters.

The primary school currently has few working devices, and the PCs will allow pupils to experience blended learning during the pandemic.

Heather Westrop, Assistant Head Teacher, said: “The donation of 30 computers from Essex & Suffolk Water is a wonderful gift for the school.

“There are many challenges on budgets for schools and technology is ever-changing so we only had a small number of devices for pupils to use, half a class at a time.

“The new computers mean we now have an IT suite for a full class and the children can participate in the Dot Com Digital programme with Essex Police, allowing us to teach our pupils to actively stay safe online especially in this time of blended and home learning.”

Nigel Watson, Group Information Services Director at Essex & Suffolk Water added: “At Essex & Suffolk Water we are constantly looking for ways that we can support our local communities.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to be able to partner with Essex Police and the Dot Com Foundation in order to help the pupils at Holy Cross Primary. Staying safe online is incredibly important, and I believe that teaching children about online safeguarding and security is vital.

“We recognise that with the current COVID-19 restrictions, a lot of things have moved online, however children living in digital poverty are unable to engage with these learning resources.

“I hope that these pupils are able to make the most of these facilities as we move towards an increasingly digital future.”

Assistant Chief Constable of Essex Police Andy Prophet said: “I am incredibly proud of the work between Essex Police, Dot.Com, local schools and businesses.

“Our work with children to help them stay safe online and in the real world is vitally important. I want to thank everyone involved in this brilliant, innovative partnership endeavour.”

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