Brighton are to send out more than 100 laptops to schoolchildren across the city to help support home learning during lockdown.
The Premier League club have pledged £25,000 from the ‘Albion As One’ fund to help the project, which will be backed up by their official IT supplier Focus Group.
‘Albion In The Community’ are already providing a wide range of both online and offline programmes in support of local schools and teachers.
The additional laptops are to be given directly to schools in key areas to ensure they are passed on to those families most in need.
The club have worked to identify some of the most critically-affected charities across East and West Sussex, helping distribute more than £400,000 to local charities and good causes.
Brighton captain Lewis Dunk welcomed the initiative.
“When we set up the fund last spring, this was exactly the sort of help we wanted to provide, to those local people who have supported the club to help it achieve everything it has in recent years,” he said.
“We have a very close bond with the local community, and as someone who went to school in Brighton and Hove I know all too well how brilliant our local schools are, and just how hard the teachers work to achieve that.
“Homeschooling my own children during lockdown was a real eye-opener, and it made many of us realise the amazing work we all benefit from.
“So it is great that we can help in this small way to ensure local children can continue their education during these difficult times.”
AITC’s Mark Barkaway hopes the project will help bridge the technology divide.
“Not all pupils have regular or any access to a computer or laptop. This lack of access to digital technology is creating inequalities amongst our local schoolchildren,” Barkaway said.
“With some residual funds left from Albion As One, and thanks to some additional help and support from the Focus Group, there is enough to supply more than 100 laptops to local schools in Brighton and Hove and help those families currently unable to engage their children effectively in remote home learning.
“Children without access to sufficient technology at home can attend school, which has resulted in school numbers going up during this lockdown.
“By providing laptops to local families, we can help ease the pressure on schools and enable more children to effectively learn from home in a remote and safe way.”