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City Academy Bristol receives laptop bundle to help fight digital poverty in one of the city’s most deprived wards

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We partnered with boxing charity Empire Fighting Chance on donating 50 laptops to local school and Bristol-based refugees to help tackle the digital divide made worse by COVID-19.

Ofcom estimated that in 2020 between 1 and 1.8 million children do not have access to a laptop, desktop or tablet at home. The laptop donation will support those without digital access, which is vital for education, work and personal development. 

Of the bundle, 20 have been donated to the students of City Academy in the centre of Bristol, a school that aims to address inequality and remove barriers to access education for its pupils. City Academy educates everyone in the local community and their student population reflects and celebrates their diverse communities.

Catherine Hickey, Assistant Principal at City Academy said: "We are delighted to have received these donations. The disadvantaged gap has widened exponentially during this period of partial closure and these donations will not only provide our students with the equipment they need to succeed in their education, it will remind them that even in these most difficult of times, people have deemed them worthy, valued and important enough to offer their help.

“Our school values of Grit and Team Spirit have been embodied by the team that have worked so hard to secure these, and I know that our students will be eternally grateful.” 

Five laptops were also donated to Syrian refugee families living in the Bristol area. These devices will help those individuals settle and become involved in the local community, as well as provide access to education and jobs.

We are delighted to have received these donations. The disadvantaged gap has widened exponentially during this period of partial closure and these donations will not only provide our students with the equipment they need to succeed in their education, it will remind them that even in these most difficult of times, people have deemed them worthy, valued and important enough to offer their help.
Catherine Hickey, Assistant Principal at City Academy

One recipient, Edwin Nkurunungi Twesigye, age 17, was given his laptop while studying at St Brendan’s Sixth Form. On saying thank you for the donation, he commented that he was ‘so happy to be able to follow up on assignments, carry out research and be able to do schoolwork’ during such a critical time for his studies.

The remaining laptops have been split between Empire Fighting Chance and their partner organisation Plymouth Hope, a Devon based charity which aims to promote social inclusion by supporting people who may otherwise have become socially excluded.

When asked about the laptop donations, Partner at Foot Anstey, Nathan Peacey, said: “Digital deprivation is still a significant crisis in parts of the UK so it's hugely rewarding for us to be able to help out in a way that will have such a direct impact on 50 young people, supporting access to education and job applications."

Martin Bisp, CEO at Empire Fighting Chance concluded: “Being able to support families and children with their studies and enjoy digital inclusion is immensely important to us at Empire. Those without access to the right technology and the ability to learn digital skills are at a huge disadvantage, and so we are delighted to have partnered with Foot Anstey on this fantastic donation which we hope to continue into the future.”