Telford & Wrekin Council Working in Partnership to combat digital exclusion
A Telford & Wrekin Council Partnership has bought about laptop donations, making online access easier for voluntary groups.
Telford & Wrekin Council distributed 20 laptops to (voluntary groups) that were donated via a close partnership with Balfour Beatty - a leading international infrastructure group.
Home-Start Telford & Wrekin is one support groups that works largely children under the age which received five laptops - the other 15 have been donated to various voluntary groups around the borough.
Families involved with the charity can now access online educational courses such as mathematics and English but also support with CV writing and job searching.
Sharon Uppal, Home-Start coordinator said: “Thank you so much to Balfour Beatty and Telford & Wrekin Council for organising these laptops.
“This kind of support really does make a massive difference for the people we support – opening doors to opportunities they simply wouldn’t have access to otherwise.
“During lockdowns, school children benefited from the laptop donation scheme but the impact of the pandemic has been so far reaching. For most us thankfully, internet access is readily available but this isn’t the case for some and removing barriers can really give people the break they need to get on in life.”
Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Neighbourhood, Commercial Services and Regeneration, Lee Carter said; “Telford & Wrekin Council has a strong partnership with Balfour Beatty that extends beyond building roads and maintaining our infrastructure.
“There are still significant levels of digital exclusion, for example in the UK 4,800,000 people never go online at all for various reasons.
“Whenever we identify an opportunity with partners to support residents we will always do our best to follow these up.
“Both organisations care deeply about the communities they work to support which is why the laptops were donated and have been distributed to groups where they will have the biggest impact.
“We’re grateful for the kind donation and continue to enjoy working with Balfour Beatty to help us protect, care and invest to create a better borough.”
Jwerea Malik, Balfour Beatty Living Places Contract Manager, said: “At Balfour Beatty Living Places, we always strive to support the communities in which we operate – we truly want to positively impact lives and make a real, sustainable difference.
“Alongside Telford & Wrekin Council, we are delighted to have provided over 20 laptops to those who need them most, helping tackle the digital poverty that has been brought to the fore since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Pictured left to right; Contract manager for Balfour Beatty Jwerea Malik, Service Delivery Manager – Highways, Engineering & Project Delivery, Adam Brookes, Transport Commissioner Kim Anderson, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Neighbourhood, Commercial Services and Regeneration Lee Carter and Home-Start Telford & Wrekin Coordinator Sharon Uppal.