Yesterday, the Queen’s Birthday Honours list was published and among those recognised is Power to Connect Director, Isabel Oakley Chapman, who receives a MBE for ‘services to the community in the London Borough of Wandsworth, during Covid-19’.
Isabel is honoured for the key role she has played in launching Power to Connect, the Wandsworth-wide initiative that started in April 2020 by Battersea Power Station and Wandsworth Council. Isabel led, the now independent CIC, to protect digitally excluded families and young people from the impact of Covid-19 by appealing to local residents and organisations for donations of unused devices and working with a team of IT and transport volunteers to refurbish and redistribute to families and young people in need.
Emilie Haston, Head Teacher, Goldfinch Primary School said
“We have been so grateful for the lifeline that Isabel and Power to Connect gave many of our children during the lockdown when we didn’t have access to any additional devices. It enabled children who had limited access to a device the opportunity to log in every day and be part of live teaching and access google classroom to complete learning tasks.”
As a result of this collaborative work, and two years since launching, Power to Connect have received over 2,000 unused fully working devices for some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged residents in the borough. Ensuring that families are supported in accessing homeschooling and staying digitally connected during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.