West Ham United Foundation call on supporters to donate IT devices to help children in the community
West Ham United Foundation and Skye Cloud have partnered on a ‘give IT’ appeal; calling on individuals, organisations and companies across the local area to donate functioning laptops, iPads and tablets to be recycled for young people in schools and colleges across East London and Essex.
From Monday 20 September, the day after the men’s team face Manchester United in the Premier League, Hammers supporters are being encouraged to drop off their IT devices at West Ham United Stores so they can be recycled and redistributed to children and young people in need across the community.
Together, the Foundation and Skye Cloud will be collecting donated items, professionally wiping them (in agreement with GDPR regulations) and delivering them to the Foundation’s network of schools and colleges across East London and Essex.
Devices need to be functioning, less than five years old, include the charging accessories and entry password details. They can be dropped off at any of the West Ham United Stores across east London and Essex, between 20 September and 22 January 2022 (when West Ham United men’s team are due to travel to Old Trafford to face Manchester United in their return Premier League fixture). For security purposes, devices cannot be taken to the London Stadium West Ham United Store at any men’s home fixtures during this period.
Over the past 18 months West Ham United have been working tirelessly across the community to help deal with the effects of the pandemic. This has included volunteering to support frontline organisations, making donations of essential items to those most vulnerable, helping individuals and families who required extra assistance, and delivering educational and mentoring sessions.
With the 2021/22 academic year just beginning, conversations with individuals, families, schools and colleges have centred around the digital divide and the urgent need among students for IT devices.
There are up to 1.8million students in the UK who do not have access to a laptop, desktop or tablet at home. With schools and colleges working to help students catch up and re-engage with their studies following the impact of the pandemic, they need to be able to access these devices in the classroom and at home. This is presenting further problems with some students, who are unable to afford a device and therefore unable to learn effectively, dropping behind in their studies through no fault of their own.
West Ham United Foundation Managing Director, Kerry Downes said: “We’re delighted to be adding to our efforts by partnering with Skye Cloud - driving our impact even further by working to reduce digital poverty. Due to the global pandemic, everyone is facing extraordinary challenges, challenges that affect the way we live, the way we work and the way our children learn. While these challenges are new, the need in our communities is not. The disparity in IT access is not only highlighting and increasing a gap that was already there, it is accelerating this divide.
“We have to make sure all our children are equipped to learn – which means being able to access computers. Our ‘give IT’ appeal will help the young people across our communities, by working to ensure that every child has the opportunity to learn in line with their peers, and ultimately create better equity across our communities, now and in the future.”
James Bishop, Director of Skye Cloud Ltd., commented: “When West Ham United told us about the need for IT devices we knew it was the perfect opportunity for us to get involved.
“These times are challenging enough but the fact that children are being digitally excluded in an age which is technology focused is even worse and extremely distressing. We hope that other individuals, companies and organisations share our thoughts and will join our ‘give IT’ appeal by donating their devices to us to be rehomed to children and young people who need them most.
“We’re proud to not only donate to the appeal but also encourage others to get involved by volunteering our services to wipe and restore all donated devices, in line with GDPR guidance, so they can safely be rehomed.”
Although school and college staff are regularly spending additional hours each week to help students progress, unfortunately due to these factors outside of their control the students are still at a disadvantage and struggling. Therefore, this assistance is greatly welcomed.
“Everyone is trying their best to ensure the children and young people are given every chance possible to progress and succeed but without the IT devices it’s incredibly difficult. So when we heard that West Ham United Foundation and Skye Cloude were going to run this campaign we were delighted. We know that West Ham United is a family club and so we hope that people will get behind it and donate whatever they can. Each and every device received by schools across the community really will make a huge difference to the students’ lives,” said Lisa Keane, headteacher at Jo Richardson School.
London Stadium*, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, E20 2ST
Monday to Saturday 10am-5pm
(Devices cannot be dropped off on home matchdays at this store)
Unit 71, Lakeside Shopping Centre, Thurrock, RM20 2RG
Monday to Saturday 9am-8pm
Unit GLA1A, Liberty Shopping Centre, Romford, RM1 3RL
Monday to Saturday 9.30am-6pm
Eastgate Shopping Centre, Basildon, SS14 1EB
Monday to Saturday 9am-5.30pm