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Power NI staff help schools reduce the digital divide

Staff at Power NI have been integral in helping the energy company roll out a £25K digital schools support programme.


Fifty schools and nurseries throughout Northern Ireland have each received a £500 technology grant via Power NI’s #MorePowerfulTogether employee initiative.


Individual staff members across Power NI’s Belfast, Omagh and Antrim sites nominated a school or nursery in their locality who they felt would really benefit from cash support to help the teachers, pupils and their families purchase devices, data and connectivity.


Gwyneth Compston, Power NI’s CSR Manager explains the rationale behind the scheme:


“Staff have always been an integral part of our community support programmes and this latest programme dovetails perfectly with our current role as a Business in the Community NI Digital Donations partner. We work closely with BITC (NI) on a whole range of community and sustainability projects, and we wanted to give staff the opportunity to offer practical help to their school communities.


Power NI staff member Okoli Nkechi successfully put forward her daughter Sochi’s school Botanic Primary, located close to Queen’s University, and both she and principal Mr Bell are thrilled with the digital support grant.


Okoli explains, “Botanic Primary School has been a big part of our lives as our three older children also attended the school and my husband Pius is a member of the School Board. We are so very much aware of the difference technology can make to young people’s educational development and ultimately their future job opportunities.”


Gwyneth Compston continues, “Digital access was a huge problem before the COVID pandemic struck, but the past year has really brought it to the fore. We’d like to thank all our staff for their nominations – they are very much appreciated. With most people currently working from home the initiative has really brought us all together with a common goal.


“We hope this contribution from Power NI and its staff will go some way to helping more children achieve their potential and go forward confidently and competently into the future world.”

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