Crowdfunder launched to end digital divide for Camden pupils

Camden Learning, a partnership between local schools and Camden Council, has launched its first-ever Crowdfunder to raise money to support schoolchildren whose learning is most affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Last term, more than 3,000 Camden pupils were without access to a computer and, unless the money is raised to buy them digital kit to learn at home, many of these children will again be denied the online learning they desperately need if they are sent home due to coronavirus cases in their school or there is a local lockdown.

To support these pupils, Camden Learning is asking as many people as possible to support the Crowdfunder to end the digital divide for the borough’s most disadvantaged pupils.

Individuals and businesses are being urged to make small or larger donations in order to buy laptops and WiFi dongles for primary pupils and secondary students who need them to access online learning at home. Every £227 raised is enough to buy a computer for a pupil in Camden.

Given the increasing reliance on online learning, Camden Learning is concerned that the Digital Divide could widen the attainment gap for disadvantaged young people in Camden. That’s why Camden Learning and local schools are determined to do everything they can to get as many computers as possible for the pupils who need them – not only during the pandemic but also to enhance their access to online learning at home throughout their education in Camden.

Asma Maloumi, a local student and Deputy Youth MP for Camden, said:

“During lockdown the only way we could continue to learn was through a computer - this was a lifeline between students and teachers. There should be no hesitation to support this scheme, as the aim is to make sure no young person has to suffer by not having access to the internet or a computer. If you can donate a few pounds to this campaign, it will go a long way in helping a child access their school, teachers and classmates.”

You can make a real difference

We’re asking you to support Camden Learning’s crowdfunding campaign – please donate now and help to buy computers for local schoolchildren who need them.

All contributions, small or large, will make a big difference. Everything adds up, and every £227 raised is enough to buy a computer for a pupil in Camden. 100% of the money raised will be spent on purchasing computers and Wi-Fi for pupils at Camden schools who need them, as well as technical support for those computers purchased. We will prioritise purchasing digital kit for pupils most in need this academic year, with any surplus used to purchase computers for pupils who need them in subsequent academic years.

Councillor Angela Mason, Cabinet Member for Best Start for Children and Families and a Camden Learning Board Member
Camden schools have been lending their pupils computers, as well as doing their own fundraising to buy digital kit, while Camden Learning and Camden Council have successfully appealed for some donated devices, bought some emergency kit for a limited number of children who might be sent home, as well as distributing computers bought by the Government for selected year groups.

However, none of this has been anywhere near enough to end the inequality of access to online learning in our borough, which has become so painfully apparent during this COVID-19 crisis. This means that thousands of Camden pupils, including some of our most disadvantaged children, still have no access or only limited access to a computer and WiFi at home.

We think this is unacceptable so it is our ambition that no pupil or student in Camden schools should be without the equipment (computer and Wi-Fi connection) they need to access home learning online, which has become so important during the pandemic.
Councillor Angela Mason, Cabinet Member for Best Start for Children and Families and a Camden Learning Board Member