Deputy Mayor Cllr Anntoinette Bramble thanks those who contributed to the Laptop Appeal

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Cllr Anntoinette Bramble, Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Education, Young People and Children’s Social Care, writes on the Council’s Laptop Appeal:

I am thrilled to say that 10 repurposed Chromebooks that I delivered to Morningside Primary School over the summer will be used for the first time by students this term, thanks to the Laptop Appeal which I decided to launch last year. 

This vital equipment was gratefully received by staff and students, who will be taking full advantage of an enhanced digital offering during studies this term. 

The coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated the digital divide that exists between those young people who have their own computer and those who do not have access to one at home. 

I welcomed the Government scheme set up to provide pupils with laptops, but it did not go far enough to reach all of the children in Hackney who needed equipment. Some schools loaned equipment or raised funds to purchase some laptops to begin to meet the need. The Mayor of Hackney, Philip Glanville and I wrote to the Government to ask for more laptops to meet the need, but we could not wait for them to act.

Back in August of last year I decided to launch an appeal and asked local residents and businesses to donate spare laptops or money to support Hackney pupils who do not have access to a computer at home.

Your response was truly overwhelming. Thank you for your donations of over £10,000 and the 300 laptops we received for children and young people in Hackney schools. These donations have made all the difference as this enabled access to learning easier for many families in Hackney.

So far 215 have been distributed to 33 schools across the borough, so I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has generously donated to our appeal and the Hackney ICT and Education staff, the Mayor and Cllr colleagues who supported my campaign and worked hard on this important piece of work. 

We know many people may still want to make a donation to help children affected by the digital divide and we would encourage you to consider supporting the brilliant groups who are working to address this important issue.

If you wish to make a donation you may find it useful to contact the following organisations:

Once again, I am so grateful to the residents, businesses and community groups who contributed to our Laptop Appeal. By coming together for this purpose we have demonstrated how Hackney Heart can make a real difference for children in the borough.

Cllr Anntoinette Bramble

Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Education, Young People and Children’s Social Care