Donated laptops given to Peterborough schools to keep pupils online during lockdown

Donated laptops to help disadvantaged pupils in Peterborough to stay online during lockdown have been delivered to city schools.

Wednesday, 3rd March 2021, 1:19 pm
Pupils will be able to use the laptops to help with their school work

Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council recently launched the ‘Laptops for Children’ campaign in partnership with the Youth Panel, Cambridge Digital Direct, Cambridge 2030 and the Cambridge Culture Foundation, aimed at purchasing laptops and 4G routers for vulnerable young people.

Around 8,000 children in the region do not have use of a computer or broadband, meaning they cannot access lessons and online resources, putting them at risk of falling behind with their studies. An impressive £567,845 has already been raised thanks to support from businesses and individuals, as well as funding from both authorities, enabling the first batch of equipment to be purchased and rolled out to schools.

As part of Deloitte’s 5 Million Futures programme, the professional services firm is donating 5,000 of its laptops to UK schools, charities and families. Deloitte has already donated 20 reconditioned laptops to Medeshamstede Academy, sponsored by Greenwood Academies Trust, and a further 50 are on the way. Dan Harris, a director at Deloitte, joined Peterborough City Councillors Lynne Ayres and Wayne Fitzgerald this week to officially present the laptops to the school, which supports pupils diagnosed with autistic spectrum conditions.

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Dan Harris said: “Having a son who is on the Autistic Spectrum, I have seen first-hand how laptops have helped unleash the unique but often hidden skills of autistic children, with digital technology truly giving many non-verbal pupils a voice. I am so proud of Deloitte for making an impact that matters.”

Laura Ives, Principal at Medeshamstede Academy, said: “We are incredibly grateful to have Deloitte’s support during what has been a challenging time for schools across the country. "Access to the internet and digital devices, including laptops, is crucial in effectively supporting pupils’ education during remote learning and this donation will be very well received by our school community and will make a huge difference to our pupils’ lives.”

Councillor Lynne Ayres, Peterborough City Council’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Education, Skills, and the University, said: “The education of every child is our priority and I am so grateful and proud of the support this worthy campaign has generated. We are extremely thankful for the support of companies such as Deloitte, the laptops they have donated to Medeshamstede Academy will make a real positive difference.

“We are keen for other organisations to join our campaign which remains open and we will continue to secure funding so that every young person in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough has the necessary equipment to continue learning.”

For more information on the campaign and to make a donation visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/cambridgeshire-laptops-for-children