Wales & West Utilities Priority Service Manager Elaina Cook with pupils from Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Bodringallt (located in Ystrad, Rhondda)

Communities up and down the country are benefitting after a donation of more than 80 iPads have made their way to charities, community groups, organisations, and schools.

Gas emergency and pipeline service, Wales & West Utilities, answered a call from Business in the Community (BITC), the Prince’s Responsible Business Network, which sought to match communities in need with businesses who could help to address digital poverty during the height of the pandemic. As a long-standing supporter of BITC, Wales & West Utilities was able to identify technology that it no longer had use for but was still in good working order, to donate to organisations so that, in turn, local people across Wales could benefit.

The link up between BITC and Wales & West Utilities has meant more than 80 iPads have been donated during the past few months. Organisations to benefit have included Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Bodringallt, Marshfield Primary School, Family Friends Wrexham, Safe Families and Voluntary Action Merthyr Tydfil (VAMT).

Nigel Winnan, Customer & Social Obligations Strategy Manager at Wales & West Utilities, said:

With technology evolving quickly we often have a surplus of iPads and laptops that we no longer have a use for but are still in a good condition. When BITC put out their call for help and support we were only too happy to help.

We are delighted that these iPads have been distributed across Wales – to organisations that really need them. We’re thrilled they will be used in a number of ways from improving learning outcomes of children to increasing employability skills amongst adults.

Sue Husband, Wales Director at Business in the Community, said:

At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, BITC’s National Business Response Network supported hundreds of local organisations across the UK, by organising skilled volunteers and donations of essential resources including food, clothing and technology. It is through generous contributions from businesses like Wales & West Utilities, that many Welsh communities have been supported in what has been a very difficult twenty-four months for many.

Donations like these iPads make a significant difference to people’s lives. A lack of technology and digital infrastructure are some of the biggest barriers preventing both adults and children from reaching their full potential. But with more businesses working with us to provide donations and skilled volunteers, the number of people benefiting will continuously increase, which demonstrates the important role that the private sector plays in supporting communities.

Wales & West Utilities prides itself on supporting the communities it serves and is a previous winner of BITC’s Responsible Business of the Year and in 2020 was named Responsible Business Champion.

Wales & West Utilities, the gas emergency and pipeline service, brings energy to 7.5m people across the south west of England and Wales. If you smell gas, or suspect the presence of carbon monoxide, call us on 0800 111 999 straight away, and our engineers will be there to help any time of day or night. Before visiting, we'll ask you to let us know if you or anyone in your household, is experiencing Coronavirus symptoms or self-isolating. We'll still come and help you: but our teams will take some additional precautions to keep us all safe.