With schools closed, technology to learn from home is vital and children without access to a computer are missing out. We’re partnering with five charities to donate 1,000 laptops to help young people keep up with their studies during lockdown.
The coronavirus crisis has brought drastic changes to the way children and young people can access schooling, careers development advice and skills. Not every family has the technology to access online resources and support. To help plug this gap, we’re donating 1,000 laptops via The Prince’s Trust and four other charities.
The refurbished laptops, which are worth over £200,000 in total, are being distributed in partnership with five charities. Eight hundred are destined for primary and secondary school pupils, and these will be sent via the LEAP Federation of schools in the Hackney area of London, Business2Schools, School Angel and the Learning Foundation. The remainder will go to youth charity The Prince’s Trust.
Over 50 children at Cambois Primary School in Blyth, Northumberland, have already taken delivery of their laptops. These will let the school’s pupils keep in touch with their teachers during the rest of their time away from class. And even if they do return to the classroom soon, it’s possible this will only be part time, so they’ll still need the computers for home learning. Once pupils go back full time, the laptops will be returned to the schools for use there.
Alongside their laptops, the children also got a cuddly new classmate called Griddles the Bear. He might not be able to answer those tricky maths questions or replace real-life school friends, but we hope he’ll bring a little extra cheer to learning time.
“We’re very grateful to National Grid for making this possible. Our teachers, pupils and their parents are working extremely hard to ensure minimal disruption to education, and these laptops will really help us stay connected now,” said Cambois Primary School Headteacher Marianne Allan.
It’s not just school children who are benefiting from the donation, as young people need access to computers to help them use the resources and gain the advice they need to get on the career ladder. The Prince’s Trust works with young people to help develop the confidence and skills they need to live, learn and earn, and a laptop allows this work to continue remotely.
Ian Jeffers, Deputy CEO of the Prince’s Trust, says: “COVID-19 has made life harder for young people who are already facing multiple barriers. The laptops from National Grid, along with connectivity packages, will make a significant difference to what our young people can achieve in the coming weeks and months. And, it will be a key way for our network of volunteer mentors and youth workers to stay connected with young people during lockdown.”
One of the first recipients of a laptop donated via The Prince’s Trust is Edel, who is working towards the launch of her own e-commerce business. Edel says: “Thanks to National Grid and The Prince’s Trust, I’m now able to move ahead with an online course in digital marketing and build my website.”
It means she can also join in with The Prince’s Trust enterprise workshops, which are now running online instead of in person. “During lockdown, I was trying hard to do this on my phone and it was a real challenge on the small screen. This laptop will make a really big difference.”