Vodafone UK has partnered with Lancaster University to provide more than 350 unlimited data SIMs to disadvantaged schoolchildren in Lancashire.
The project is part of a much wider scheme called Connecting Kids, which is intended to give children the tools they need to continue their studies during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The project is aimed at 11-18 year old students who come from low-income households or do not have the connected devices they need to be digitally educated.
Helen Lamprell, General Counsel and External Affairs Director at Vodafone UK, said: “The pandemic has impacted everyone in the UK but is hitting the most vulnerable in our society the hardest.
“We recognise that technology can play a huge part in making peoples’ lives easier. I’m really pleased that our connectivity will enable children across Lancashire to continue their education.”
The connectivity Vodafone is providing will be used in conjunction with mobile broadband devices and laptops, which will be distributed by local schools to the children who need them most.
Victoria Michael, Principal at Morecambe Bay Academy and the person who is co-ordinating the distribution for local schools, said: “Digital poverty means having no access to online education, due to a lack of device or internet connection in the family home.
“Educationally, those children who are entitled to free school meals achieve far lower outcomes nationally compared to their peers. This pandemic is widening that gap daily as some children still have access to learning and some do not. This is why connecting kids is so important.”
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