Appeal launched: Donate unwanted laptops to help Hackney pupils
Local residents and businesses are being asked to donate spare laptops to support Hackney pupils who do not have access to a computer at home.
While off school during the coronavirus pandemic, many young people were able to keep up with online lessons and school work at home. However, around 4,000 pupils are believed to not have sufficient access to ICT facilities at home.
Schools have been able to temporarily loan equipment and a Government scheme provided about 1,500 laptops, which have been distributed via schools. Now the Council is asking businesses and residents to consider donating any spare or unwanted laptops to make sure no pupil goes without.
Financial donations are also welcomed, and will be used to buy refurbished computers to make sure as many pupils can be supported as possible.
The coronavirus pandemic really highlighted 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 at all.
The Government scheme set up to provide pupils with laptops just wasn’t sufficient, and schools have been forced to loan equipment - some have even raised funds to purchase some laptops to begin to meet the need. The Mayor and I have written to the Government to ask for more, but we cannot wait for them to act.
We know that when schools return in September there will be continued emphasis on online learning and homework, and we want to make sure that none of our pupils are disadvantaged by that. So today we are calling on local businesses and residents to donate any spare laptops they may have.
Donated devices will be wiped clean of any data and we will repurpose them with the software that children will need; we will distribute them through our schools and ensure they reach those who need them most. We would also welcome any financial donations that we can use to buy refurbished computers.
This is a really important opportunity for us to come together and demonstrate how the Hackney Spirit can make a real difference for children in the borough.