Drax Group is delivering hundreds of laptops with internet access to schools and colleges local to its operations across Britain, to ensure students can continue with their studies during the Covid-19 crisis.
As the pandemic continues to have a major impact on families and communities across the UK, the energy company which owns the UK’s largest power station, is rolling out a package of measures to support people in its communities.
It has been working with headteachers at its partner schools to source and provide families with laptops and prepaid internet access so children without a computer at home can connect and continue with their studies during the lockdown.
Will Gardiner, Drax Group CEO, said:
“At Drax we’ve been working with headteachers during the Easter break to make sure that students have access to laptops as they start the summer term. This is crucial, as highlighted by the Government this weekend.
“We’re delivering nearly 700 laptops with internet access to the students who need them most. The pandemic continues to have a major impact on families, businesses and communities across the UK – our support for students means we’re helping to get them connected so they can keep learning during the lockdown.”
As part of its initiative to inspire more children to study STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Maths) subjects, Drax has been working with partner schools local to its operations for some time, delivering a range of projects and careers events.
This latest project has seen the energy company invest £200,000 in the laptops with prepaid internet access, delivered for the summer term to partner schools in its local communities across England and Scotland.
The schools will distribute the technology to families to help ensure no child is left behind during lockdown.
Ian Clennan, Head Teacher of Selby Community Primary School in North Yorkshire, which will be receiving some of the equipment, said:
“This donation of laptops from Drax is going to make a huge difference to the lives of pupils currently without access to online educational resources – as well as our whole school community after the Coronavirus lockdown is over.
“Ensuring no-one gets left behind in their studies during the lockdown is a priority for us, but schools don’t just provide education – they’re a whole support system. Having computers and internet access means pupils can keep in touch with their teachers and classmates more easily too – which is also incredibly important at the moment.”
Russell Hobby, CEO of Teach First, a leading charity which aims to address disadvantages in education, added:
“Home schooling is difficult for any family, but for children with limited access to a laptop or the internet – the barriers to studying are even greater. This generous donation by Drax will help hundreds of children to continue to learn during the crisis and have a positive impact on their life chances, as well as the communities in which they live.”
As part of the UK’s critical national infrastructure, Drax has taken unprecedented measures to protect its staff during the Covid-19 crisis and maintain a reliable and stable supply of electricity to millions of homes and businesses across the UK.
Just last week, engineers at Drax Power Station, near Selby in North Yorkshire – the UK’s largest power station – installed blue lighting on one of the 114m tall cooling towers in appreciation of the NHS as part of the ‘Clap for Carers’ initiative.
- The 682 laptops and prepaid dongles giving three months of prepaid internet access will be delivered to Drax’s partner primary schools, secondary schools and colleges local to its operations, as well as children leaving care. Head teachers will then distribute the technology to pupils identified as requiring support.
- The schools in receipt of the laptops are located in: Selby, Goole, Doncaster, Ipswich, Northampton and Shoreham in England. Dumfries, Castle Douglas and Oban in Scotland.
- Drax is a founding member of Rt Hon Justine Greening’s C-19 Business Pledge, a national scheme which encourages employers to join the coronavirus effort by pledging to help their employees, customers and communities to get through the crisis.
- Drax has created a suite of online educational resource for parents, teachers and students to support the curriculum as students start another term in lockdown. This includes a comprehensive package of CV support and virtual careers advice for students in Year 10.
- Photos via Adobe Stock. They can be licensed for media use here and here.
Drax Group’s purpose is to enable a zero carbon, lower cost energy future. Its 2,900-strong employees operate across three principal areas of activity – electricity generation, electricity sales to business customers and compressed wood pellet production.
Drax owns and operates a portfolio of flexible, low carbon and renewable electricity generation assets across Britain. The assets include the UK’s largest power station, based at Selby, North Yorkshire, which supplies five percent of the country’s electricity needs.
Having converted two thirds of Drax Power Station to use sustainable biomass instead of coal it has become the UK’s biggest renewable power generator and the largest decarbonisation project in Europe.
Its pumped storage, hydro and energy from waste assets in Scotland include Cruachan Power Station – a flexible pumped storage facility within the hollowed-out mountain Ben Cruachan. It also owns and operates four gas power stations in England.
Drax owns two B2B energy supply businesses:
- Haven Power, based in Ipswich, supplies electricity and energy services to large Industrial and Commercial sector businesses.
- Opus Energy, based in Oxford, Northampton and Cardiff, provides electricity, energy services and gas to small and medium sized (SME) businesses.
Drax owns and operates three pellet mills in the US South which manufacture compressed wood pellets (biomass) produced from sustainably managed working forests. These pellet mills supply around 20% of the biomass used by Drax Power Station in North Yorkshire to generate flexible, renewable power for the UK’s homes and businesses.
For more information visit www.drax.com/uk