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Haverhill businessman goes back to school to provide digital support for students




A prominent businessman in Haverhill has been thanked by his former school after donating digital devices to support students with remote working.

Paul Donno, director of 1 Accounts Online Ltd, launched a fundraising campaign in February to support town secondary school Castle Manor Academy.

Last week, after receiving generous support from the local community and business sector, he presented the school with eight devices.

Castle Manor Academy head teacher Vanessa Whitcombe with Paul Donno, of 1 Accounts. Picture by 1 Accounts
Castle Manor Academy head teacher Vanessa Whitcombe with Paul Donno, of 1 Accounts. Picture by 1 Accounts

Vanessa Whitcombe, headteacher at the school, said: “We are indebted to Paul for starting this crucial campaign and to everyone who has supported it.

“Our students have really enjoyed being back in school, but the need for digital devices remains crucial.These devices will help those who may not have digital access at home.

"We have learnt a lot about remote learning during lockdown and we want to continue this going forward alongside more traditional classroom teaching.”

John Mayhew, the outgoing chairman of the ONE Haverhill Partnership
John Mayhew, the outgoing chairman of the ONE Haverhill Partnership

At one stage during lockdown, more than 100 Castle Manor students were either sharing devices or having to use a mobile phone for remote learning.

This prompted Mr Donno to launch the campaign alongside ONE Haverhill Partnership whose priority task groups include education and business engagement through Heart of Haverhill.

John Mayhew, chairman of ONE Haverhill Partnership and spokesman for Heart of Haverhill, said at the time: “I wholeheartedly endorse this fund-raising campaign and know what a difference it will make to students living and studying in our community.”

Mr Donno said: “I wanted to do something to support my old school and also help young people going forward.

“They are our future but not everyone has the same privilege when it comes to computers and access to technology.

“I am delighted we have been able to help students in and around Haverhill and I want to thank everyone who supported the campaign.”

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