Drax puts energy into education and skills

In April, Drax donated 60 laptops to schools across Scotland.

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Charities are being invited to apply for Drax Group funding as the company works to support communities near its operations during the Covid pandemic.

The renewable energy company’s charity committee has money to support good causes near its operations in Scotland, which include Loch Awe-based Cruachan Power Station.

Funding requests that will boost communities by supporting the company’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) education outreach work and improving skills and employability are being accepted.

Last year, Drax distributed £636,000 to communities through donating laptops to schools to support students with home schooling, free energy for small care homes and virtual tours and work experience to keep STEM learning opportunities open during the pandemic.

Lochnell Primary School in Benderloch recently received support from the Drax Charity Committee and head teacher Louise Chisholm said: ‘We are grateful to Drax for its ongoing support for education and skills. It makes a real difference to the students’ experience which is so important, especially during the challenges of the last year.

‘We’ve used the latest money to further develop our children’s curiosity and skills in computing and science by buying Lego WeDo kits which allow children to build and programme their own projects.’

Charities and community organisations local to Drax’s operations which support STEM and education outreach, skills and employability, or which work to improve communities, can apply for up to £500 per year from Drax.

Alan Knight, group director of sustainability and chairman of the charity committee, said: ‘Drax has a long history of supporting communities.

‘It’s vital businesses like Drax play their part in boosting education and employability so people are equipped with the relevant skills to support a green economy.

‘We welcome applications from organisations which share Drax’s aims of boosting social mobility or improving their area.’

Drax recently began the planning process to build a new underground pumped hydro storage power station that will more than double the electricity generating capacity of the iconic Hollow Mountain Cruachan plant. The project will support almost 900 jobs in rural areas across Scotland during construction and will provide critical storage capacity needed to support a net zero power system.

To request an application form, email communityandcharity@drax.com or fill out an enquiry form on the Drax website.