Final push for donations to help digitally disadvantaged children in Norfolk
11 February 2021
A campaign to provide the devices and technical support to get every child learning online in Norfolk has delivered 2,950 laptops and tablets to date and received donations and pledges of £192,000 of funding.
The Every Child Online campaign is being run by Norfolk County Council alongside Norfolk Community Foundation (NCF) with the backing of the EDP newspaper and was launched less than three weeks ago.
The generosity of businesses, organisations and individuals in Norfolk means that there is only an estimated 100 devices still required.
As well as the 2,950 devices that have been delivered so far to schools and academies, an additional 1,700 are in stock or ordered ready to go out. Schools in Norfolk and the Norfolk Assistance Scheme requested 4,770 laptops and tablets for home learning in total. It was originally estimated that 6,000 were needed at the beginning of the campaign on January 22.
The campaign is also working on more than a thousand requests for internet access and the roll out of MiFi devices has begun.
Of £192,000 donated to the online fundraising page set up by Norfolk Community Foundation (NCF), £100,000 came from Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm in Great Yarmouth’s Community Fund.
Cllr John Fisher is the county council cabinet member for Children’s Services, he said: “This is an incredible milestone in such a short space of time and I’m delighted that need has almost been met. The people of Norfolk have really stepped up to ensure that no child falls behind in their learning.
“We are not over the finish line just yet though, there are dozens of devices required to meet demand, and some families that aren’t able to get online. I’m asking, once again, for businesses and organisations to check their stock to see if they have any surplus pre-used or brand new devices that could make a huge difference to a family.”
Sonja Chirico Indrebø, Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm Power Plant Manager said: “The Dudgeon Community Fund awards grants totalling £100,000 each year to projects designed to inspire the next generation of scientists, innovators and inventors in school years 8-11 in Great Yarmouth, North Norfolk and Breckland. As a result of the pandemic, it seems that schools will be closed to most young people until at least early March, so it is vitally important that every young person has access to the technology that will enable them to progress their studies, and particularly their STEM subjects, from their home environment.
“When the Norfolk Community Foundation explained that Norfolk’s schools and academies needed to supply around 6,000 devices so that young people in Norfolk have the technology for successful home learning, the team here at Dudgeon Offshore Wind in Great Yarmouth of course wanted to support this Norfolk County Council/ Norfolk Community Foundation campaign.”
Claire Cullens, Chief Executive of Norfolk Community Foundation said: “It’s always great to see the people and businesses of Norfolk coming together to support each other. The fact that so many of the requests for help that Norfolk County Council has received from schools have already been fulfilled, is testament to the generosity of those in our community. It means that hundreds of children who didn’t have access to appropriate technology can now get on with online learning.
“Our relationship with Dudgeon means we know what they care about as a business. We wanted to bring them into this partnership so they could deliver the support we know our communities need and we are hugely grateful for their fantastic contribution”
The campaign gives two ways to step up and help
- Businesses and organisations can give pre-used corporate devices to the county council for refurbishment and distribution to schools. To donate email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Individuals and businesses can give funding to the NCF to be spent on new laptops and tablets and internet connections. Visit the NCF website to donate.
Support getting set up
If anyone needs help using online services, they can speak to a member of library staff on 01603 774777 from 10am-6pm Monday to Friday and 10am-4pm on Saturdays.
People can also register for Learn My Way and enter the name of their local library in the ‘Centre’ box for free online learning. For help downloading eBooks or using other library services online, email email@example.com.