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Manor Infant School is the first school to benefit from a new scheme to help Portsmouth children whose families can’t afford the technology they need for learning at home.

Shaping Portsmouth’s Bridging the Digital Divide scheme was created to provide children with the tech they need if schools are closed, and to help with homework and coursework when schools are open.

Under the scheme, businesses and individuals can donate new and used devices or make a financial donation through the project’s Crowdfunder page. All donations are being used to benefit people in Portsmouth and this week the first delivery of five devices was made to Manor Infant School.

Helen Castle, Head Teacher at Manor Infant School and Nursery, said: “I am delighted that we are the first setting to receive equipment through the scheme. I’m really looking forward to giving them to families who have been unable to access all we’ve had to offer during the lockdowns and know they will now have the access they need to support additional learning at home, even after the pandemic. Thank you so much to everyone who has donated.”

Cllr Suzy Horton, Portsmouth City Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Education, said: “Portsmouth schools have worked incredibly hard throughout the lockdown to provide a remote offer to their pupils, but for some families the lack of suitable devices has meant they have struggled. This scheme aims to bridge the digital divide in the city as a long-term strategy – not just during the pandemic – so all pupils have the same ability to access digital learning.”

Stef Nienaltowski, CEO of Shaping Portsmouth, said: “We are delighted with the positive response to the scheme so far and we are thrilled that we have now started delivering devices to the families who need them. Please keep donating so we can make sure everyone in Portsmouth who needs a device can get one as quickly as possible.”

More donations are needed of new or second-hand tablets, Chromebooks, laptops or desktop computers. Find out  how to donate at Funds are also being raised through the Crowdfunder page and money raised will be used to buy devices which will be loaned to local families. The project is just £1,500 away from target so please donate here:

Bridging Portsmouth’s Digital Divide is bring delivered by Shaping Portsmouth in partnership with Portsmouth City Council, Hive Portsmouth, KSM Telecom, Abri, Thinking Schools Academy Trust and Vivid.