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28/10/2021

Local businesses promoting digital inclusion in Draperstown

Eight schools in the area have benefited from the scheme.

Local businesses promoting digital inclusion in Draperstown

Representatives from the schools who benefited from the initiative.

A group of businesses in a County Derry town have joined together to provide digital devices for the area's eight schools.

The Draperstown Digital Inclusion Project was established after a local principal raised concerns that some children's education was suffering without access to technology for online lessons.

Led by the Workspace Group, 18 businesses in the area launched a fundraising drive to purchase digital devices for the area's eight local schools.

Chairperson of the Workspace Group, Mr Laurence O'Kane, said the initiative will have a positive effect on the education of the area's children.

“ It’s clear that digital exclusion is real issue for many children, not just those who attend schools in our community,” he said.

“Children have been widely affected by school closures and the lockdowns and with the support of many local businesses this project has allowed us to try to limit the amount of digital exclusion in our community and prevent many children from falling behind their peers.”

Over £27,000 was raised through the initiative and over 140 families have benefited from the digital devices provided to schools.

Representatives from all the businesses who contributed to the Draperstown Digital Inclusion Fund 2021.

Workspace Group Chief Executive, Mrs Georgina Grieve, praised the businesses for their support.

“We were delighted with the response from all the local businesses,” she said.

“They were keen to contribute and work in collaboration with each other to provide vital support for children and help break down the digital barriers so that they can continue their education remotely.”

Principal of St Eoghan's Primary School, Mr Pascal Diamond, described the fundraising initiative as 'heart-warming'.

“I am very proud of the amazing response from our local business community to my request for digital devices,” he said.

“The families in St Eoghan’s P.S. that benefited from these devices have asked me to extend their gratitude to each of the businesses involved.

“These are very challenging times for everyone in society, and it is heart-warming to see the response from local businesses to our families needing support.”

The 18 local businesses involved in the project include: ASM Chartered Accountants, Ballinascreen Credit Union, Bloc Blinds, Cloane Construction, Corramore, Draperstown Surgery, EDS, Four Dee ltd, H&A Mechanical, Heron Brothers, MJ McBrides Construction Ltd, NMK Steel Ltd, O’Kane Holdings, O’Kanes Pharmacy, Sperrin Galvanisers Ltd, Sperrin Metal, Yard Master and the Workspace Group.

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