Leeds-based drainage contractor, Jet Aire Services, is helping to provide access to online learning for local children and families following a donation of fifteen laptops to the Digital Access West Yorkshire initiative backed by Leeds City Council.
Run by a group of volunteers to address inequalities and a digital divide in the region, Digital Access West Yorkshire is a project which works with schools, community groups and businesses to source donations of new and refurbished computers and devices to enable more people to connect during the pandemic. Jet Aire is supporting the campaign with the purchase of a batch of brand-new Chromebook laptops which will be distributed to families in need via various schools in the Leeds City Region.
Managing director, Darren Pavan, said: “The Covid crisis has underlined the importance of internet access across society. During this challenging time, when so many are isolated at home, it’s a basic function that we all need to access information, communicate with each other and maintain social connectivity. It’s vital for children and parents who are trying to manage home schooling. With schools not expected to re-open until mid-March at the earliest, we approached Leeds City council to offer our donation. Digital Access West Yorkshire is doing some fantastic work to bridge the gap for households that don’t have access to the technology and resources they need. We welcomed the opportunity to work with them and play our part in supporting their efforts in making a difference to our local community.”
Claire Garside of Digital Access West Yorkshire said: "Digital and data poverty has widened inequalities in education and we know it’s hurting some children and families more than others. Through the incredible generosity of donations from local organisations such as Jet Aire, we know that we’re supporting headteachers to equip children at their school with the tools needed to fully participate and connect with online learning.”
The volunteers at Digital Access West Yorkshire have a variety of backgrounds in refurbishing and distributing tech, digital inclusion, education and community development. Individual adults, children and families in need are identified by the project’s referral partners linked to headteachers, GPs, health and wellbeing professionals and local community groups.