Campaign launched to help children have access to a laptop in Doncaster

A laptop campaign has launched in Doncaster in a bid to help the many young people who currently cannot access online learning due to not having a suitable device.

By Lisa Wong
Tuesday, 19th January 2021, 4:45 pm

Laptops for Kids was an idea created by David Richards - founder and chief executive of WANdisco - who launched the campaign in Sheffield with The Star and Learn Sheffield in September 2020.

Individuals and businesses donate unused computers, which are recycled and cleaned, ready to be distributed to a young person who is currently unable to learn at home.

A spokesperson for Laptops for Kids Doncaster, said: “The unfortunate reality is that for many young people, virtual learning = digital isolation. Something that many of us assume is a basic necessity - access to digital tech - is a very real challenge for lots of young people...right now.”

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Rane Robinson is tackling her homeschooling with gusto after receiving a laptop from Laptops For Kids in Sheffield

The charitable organisation highlighted that there is ‘a lot of need out there’ so are encouraging as many people as possible to donate any laptops and tablets that they may have lying around.

It is estimated that across the UK, nearly one in 10 children does not have access to a device.

As schools closed and learning moved online, the pandemic only exacerbated the digital divide and children were left falling behind in their education.

The Government has also failed to deliver enough support, despite schools calling for the requirement of more laptops.

David Richards said at the Laptops for Kids Sheffield launch: “Talent is everywhere but opportunity is not and the pandemic is worsening social and economic inequalities.

“We must stop young people falling further behind just because they cannot log on for homework.

“It’s a tragic waste of potential and is storing up worrying problems for the future.”

Children across Sheffield have been receiving laptops, enabling them to access online learning resources at home.

A single mother-of-three is now able to help her children ‘make a better future’ after receiving a laptop. They were previously doing schoolwork on a mobile phone with limited data and patchy internet.

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