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Durkan donates laptops to Clarion Housing residents to drive digital inclusion

As part of its longstanding commitment to give back to the communities in which it operates, leading London and home counties housebuilder and contractor Durkan has donated laptops to residents of Clarion’s Sherwood Close development in West Ealing, London.

Clarion Housing Group appointed Durkan to build the second phase of its regeneration of Sherwood Close in West Ealing in November 2020, constructing four blocks comprising more than 100 affordable apartments.

The past 18 months have shone a spotlight on the so-called ‘digital divide’, and the need to ensure that communities are not excluded from education, employment and wider society due to a lack of digital access.  Durkan wanted to help spark a positive change in addressing this significant challenge.

Clarion Futures, the charitable foundation of Clarion Housing Group, with the support of Durkan, identified five households that would benefit from a laptop donation.  The new laptops, funded by Durkan, were presented to the children of families living in homes that form part of the first phase of Clarion’s Sherwood Close regeneration in a small ceremony on 3rd September.

For Durkan, this donation signals the start of a strategic investment in enhancing the way the communities they serve can, and do, engage with technology.  Moving forward, it is Durkan’s ambition to work with more housing associations, social enterprises and not-for-profit organisations to improve access to digital services in their communities.

Present at the ceremony on 3rd September were Kevin O’Connor, Head of Social Responsibility and Inclusion and Sonia Allen, Managing Resident Liaison Officer from Durkan, as well as representatives from Clarion Futures and Clarion’s regeneration team.

Kevin O’Connor, Head of Social Responsibility and Inclusion at Durkan, said: The impact of the pandemic over the last 18 months has really highlighted the value of access to technology and how isolating and limiting it can be without it.  Investing in and supporting the communities in which we work and live is important to Durkan and donating the laptops to residents of Sherwood Close forms part of our wider commitment to that ambition.

“Durkan has a great relationship with the team at Clarion Housing and it’s good to be creating positive change through initiatives that demonstrate real social value and impact.  We’re looking forward to seeing how the new technology will help to support the continued education and development of children living in West Ealing.”

Steph Noyce, Head of Money and Digital at Clarion Futures, said: Through our digital inclusion work, we provide digital skills training, support and devices including laptops, tablets and MiFi so Clarion residents can get online safely and confidently. Thanks to Durkan’s generous donation of five laptops for residents at Sherwood Close, we will be able to help more residents to benefit from being online. These devices, alongside ongoing support and training, will make a real difference to residents’ lives.”

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