It’s become very apparent that the ‘new normal’ for school children now and in the future include a considerable amount of learning at home using online resources on computers/laptops. Unfortunately, some families can’t afford IT equipment to support their children studying at home, and right now these disadvantaged children are missing out.
By Jamie Di Francescomarino
The government has made funds available to provide laptops and Internet access to some of these children, but that currently only includes children in social care which is a tiny fraction of the kids that need help. After liaising with schools in Horley, The Level Up Laptop Appeal, which is run by Martin Saunders, are trying to change this. They say that there are around 250 children with an urgent need for IT equipment to help them with their schoolwork in the area.
To help address this problem, Martin set up the appeal to encourage individuals and businesses to donate unwanted laptops. He takes the laptop in, cleans it, generally replaces the hard drive. The laptop is then given to one of the Horley Schools for onward distribution to the families that need it most.
Martin said, “Using old laptops rather than buying new ones takes more work, but we’re reusing existing equipment which is significantly cheaper than buying new laptops and is better for the environment.”
If you have a laptop that you are not using or no longer need, we ask that you kindly donate it to the Laptop Appeal as it could go to a child that desperately needs it.
If you wish to donate one, please make sure it meets these criteria:
- The laptop needs to work, and the screen needs to be intact, so no scratches or cracks.
- Battery life isn’t hugely important as these will mostly be used plugged in – power supplies are important but not essential as replacements can be bought fairly cheap.
- Needs to have originally come with Windows 7, 8 or 10. If it came with Windows 7, the licence sticker needs to be readable (as the code is used to install Windows 10).
Martin explained that “rightfully some laptop donors have concerns over the security of their data, especially if the laptop was used for business purposes.” To solve this problem, he is happy to take laptops that have had their hard drive removed, or he can remove the drive for you.
So far Martin and The Level Up Laptop Appeal have refurbished 100 laptops of their 250 laptop goal for the school children. This is amazing news, keep up the good work!