West Ham United Foundation has joined forces with Skye Cloud to launch the Give IT appeal
Earlier this year, West Ham United Foundation announced their partnership with Skye Cloud to launch the Give IT Appeal, hoping to reduce the digital divide for young people in schools and colleges across east London and Essex.
The appeal calls on individuals and organisations to donate their spare, functioning, laptops and tablets, so they can be wiped, restored and then redistributed to children in need.
In order to find out more about the importance of the appeal, men’s first team goalkeeper David Martin joined a video call with Jenny Rose, Vice-Principal of local secondary school Hathaway Academy.
Jenny explained that the lockdowns meant students had to independently learn at home.
“It’s extremely difficult because a lot of the students rely on coming into school to get their education and completing homework at school because actually there are so many things going on for them externally or their home environment might not be apt and conducive to learning,” she said.
“You’ve got the number of students who didn’t have access or don’t have access to any ICT equipment and therefore going into the second partial closure they weren’t able to access a lot of the learning because everything by the second partial closure went online. So, the gaps that built in learning for those students just increased and increased and increased.”
With students being aware of these issues and comparing themselves to peers, Jenny noted that there was ‘increased vulnerability’ and David recognised the detrimental impact to their health and wellbeing as well as their academics as a result.
“I have a five-year-old and during lockdowns you don’t realise that if we didn’t have an iPad to do home learning [it would be really difficult]. We use it all the time and you can actually see, wow, if I was a kid to be able to have this software on a device would definitely have encouraged me so you realise how important and how much the IT world has moved on,” he said.
When asked about the impact having devices would have on those in need, Jenny stated: “I think, one, there's a sense of pride, because actually they feel that level of importance, but also it means that they can do further independent study outside of lessons, and not actually have to depend on coming to school to be able to do that. So, it really should relieve some of the pressure problem.
“Particularly our GCSE students, they’ve missed significant learning and opportunities to get out to organisations via the Academy, workshops, events, and trips. So, the IT devices can be used to research career pathways, look at colleges, look at courses, look at options that they might want to take. So, it's not just about the academic advantage it's also about their social advantage and their future prospects.”
To donate to the Give IT appeal, you can:
- Provide funds to support through the Foundation’s JustGiving page at justgiving.com/whufoundation
- Drop off your functioning IT device (must be less than five-years-old and include charger and entry password) to a WHU Store, except for the London Stadium Store on men’s home match days
- Arrange collection of your IT device by contacting the WHU Foundation