The fund ‘s purpose is to help provide underprivileged families with the tools they need to learn from home during the COVID-19 lockdown. It is supporting a new scheme to refurbish 200 donated laptops and tablet devices for children in partnership with the Newbury Community Resource Centre (NCRC).
Approximately 9% of children in the UK – between 1.1 million and 1.8 million – do not have access to a laptop, desktop or tablet at home, according to Ofcom. The NCRC has been collecting donated laptops from the general public in response to the national crisis of access to devices for remote learning due to current school closures caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
After an initial assessment, approximately two thirds of the donated laptops are suitable for refurbishment. NCRC is working with Green Machine, a Ramsbury based IT company, to refurbish the laptops ready for issue to schools and directly to local families in need. Whilst Green Machine is donating its staff time and project management costs free of charge, the Greenham Trust grant of £10,000 will fund additional costs such as replacing screens, installing anti-virus software and supplying accessories for the 200 refurbished laptops.
Kelvin Hughes, Chief Executive, Newbury Community Resource Centre (NCRC) says:
Throughout the pandemic we have seen an increasing need for support from vulnerable local families. The closure of schools and move to remote learning has placed an additional burden on all families, especially low-income families who are not eligible to send their children to school who simply can’t afford to provide the devices needed to participate in online lessons and complete school work. Alongside Greenham Trust’s ‘Laptops for Lockdown Learning’ fund which is helping schools plug the gap, we are delighted to also be getting support from Green Machine and the generous general public to supply this additional equipment to those most in need.
Chris Boulton, CEO, Greenham Trust says:
This is a fantastic example of collaboration – recycling laptops kindly donated by the public, a company donating its time and skills for the community and the expertise of the NCRC in coordinating efforts to reach those who are in need. This fits with our objective of our ‘Laptops for Lockdown Learning’ appeal which is to get laptops and devices to those families who are struggling to give their children the equipment they need and we are delighted that the Trust can help NCRC with the costs of equipment refurbishment.
As of Monday 8th February, 1,053 laptops and devices worth over £206,000 have been funded by Greenham Trust’s Laptops for Lockdown Learning appeal fund, reaching 30 primary and secondary schools across the local area.
The need continues, however, with more school requests being made daily. To support and have your donation matched £1 for £1 by Greenham Trust please give here.
The NCRC is currently closed for day-to-day operations due to COVID restrictions so please contact the Newbury Community Resource Centre before travelling to the centre to deliver laptops ensure that someone will be available on site.
If you are a school that has identified families who don’t have access to laptops, tablets or other devices to enable their children to learn from home, please apply online at: https://thegoodexchange.com/laptops/
Image credit Robert Flickr CCL laptop