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Neighbours help bridge digital divide

12 February 2021

An incredibly generous donation by investment company, Polar Capital, means every young person at Westminster City School will have exclusive access to a laptop to support their remote learning.

While most of Westminster City School’s young people and staff stay home, to help protect themselves and others, our School has been sourcing funds to improve computer access for all.  Polar Capital, whose main office is just a few doors from our Palace Street site, have donated more than £70,000 to a fund to ensure all our young people have use of a laptop and have the level of internet access they need to benefit from our innovative remote learning.

Headteacher, Mr Broughton, said: “As part of our remote learning plans during the first lockdown, staff identified young people with no or limited access to computers at home, and we delivered equipment to those most in need. However, thanks to Polar Capital, we can now ensure that all at Westminster City School have computer access, which is so vital in supporting their learning during this challenging 2021 lockdown.

“Issues around computer and internet access are not unique to Westminster City School, with the pandemic revealing that many children across the UK do not have enough devices or internet access to keep learning during lockdown. Indeed, Ofcom estimates that around 9% of children (between 1.1 million and 1.8 million) do not have a laptop, desktop or tablet at home and more than 880,000 live in a household with only a mobile internet connection. It’s extremely heart-warming to see a successful company, like Polar Capital, reach out and support our School in this way. We are very grateful for their donation and we look forward to working together in the future, on a number of exciting initiatives to help our young people on their academic journey.”

Gavin Rochussen, CEO at Polar Capital, said: “These are very trying and challenging times for all and must be particularly so for students if they are not properly equipped to access school digitally. Therefore, we are delighted to be able to help provide Westminster City School with the necessary equipment for remote learning. We are equally enthusiastic that this marks the start of a close partnership with Westminster City School and we look forward to further engagement with the community of young people and staff.”

Founded in 2001, Polar Capital is a UK-based, client-focused, fund management business. Today, the company has 13 investment teams, with assets under management of £19bn (as of December 2020) that is invested on clients’ behalf in securities across the globe, whether that be shares or bonds in companies. By investing in these securities, Polar Capital provides essential capital to companies that they then use to produce their own goods and services. That could mean investing in mainstream technology and healthcare companies, including some of those involved in vaccine development.

Furthermore, Polar Capital places great emphasis on providing and maintaining an entrepreneurial, collegiate and transparent environment for their employees. Polar Capital believes this is an increasingly important factor in the attraction and retention of talented people. Equally, Polar Capital appreciates that it is other people’s money that they are entrusted with, and they aim to create a more positive impact in the local community.

Our socially distant picture shows Headteacher, Mr Broughton, with two current pupils and Su Park, Managing Director at Polar Capital.

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