Drax supplying hundreds of laptops to children to help them keep learning during lockdown

Yorkshire-based Drax Group is delivering hundreds of laptops with internet access to schools and colleges local to its operations across Britain, to ensure students can continue with their studies during the Covid-19 crisis.

As the pandemic continues to have a major impact on families and communities across the UK, the energy company which owns the UK’s largest power station in North Yorkshire, is rolling out a package of measures to support people in its communities.

Drax is spending £200,000 to source and provide families with laptops and prepaid internet access so children without a computer at home can connect and continue with their studies during the lockdown.

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The locations of the schools being given the laptops include Selby, Goole, Doncaster, Ipswich, Northampton and Shoreham in England, as well as Dumfries, Castle Douglas and Oban in Scotland.

Drax

Will Gardiner, Drax Group CEO, said: “At Drax we’ve been working with headteachers during the Easter break to make sure that students have access to laptops as they start the summer term. This is crucial, as highlighted by the Government this weekend.

“We’re delivering nearly 700 laptops with internet access to the students who need them most. The pandemic continues to have a major impact on families, businesses and communities across the UK – our support for students means we’re helping to get them connected so they can keep learning during the lockdown.”

As part of its initiative to inspire more children to study STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Maths) subjects, Drax has been working with partner schools local to its operations for some time, delivering a range of projects and careers events.

The schools will distribute the technology to families to help ensure no child is left behind during lockdown.

Ian Clennan, Head Teacher of Selby Community Primary School in North Yorkshire, which will be receiving some of the equipment, said: “This donation of laptops from Drax is going to make a huge difference to the lives of pupils currently without access to online educational resources – as well as our whole school community after the Coronavirus lockdown is over.

“Ensuring no-one gets left behind in their studies during the lockdown is a priority for us, but schools don’t just provide education – they’re a whole support system. Having computers and internet access means pupils can keep in touch with their teachers and classmates more easily too – which is also incredibly important at the moment.”

Russell Hobby, CEO of Teach First, a leading charity which aims to address disadvantages in education, added: “Home schooling is difficult for any family, but for children with limited access to a laptop or the internet - the barriers to studying are even greater. This generous donation by Drax will help hundreds of children to continue to learn during the crisis and have a positive impact on their life chances, as well as the communities in which they live.”

As part of the UK’s critical national infrastructure, Drax has taken unprecedented measures to protect its staff during the Covid-19 crisis and maintain a reliable and stable supply of electricity to millions of homes and businesses across the UK.

Just last week, engineers at Drax Power Station, near Selby in North Yorkshire – the UK’s largest power station - installed blue lighting on one of the 114m tall cooling towers in appreciation of the NHS as part of the ‘Clap for Carers’ initiative.