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A local crisis response project launched in January this year raised over £11,000 in laptop donations, providing 65 devices to schools and charities in the region.

Laptops for Kids, delivered as a partner project between Lancaster City Council, ICT Reverse and Lancaster CVS has been hailed a huge success.

The January lockdown once again highlighted challenges around the Digital Divide, with many children and elderly having no means of contact with schools, friends or family. Between January and March, the project encouraged businesses in the district to donate their old IT equipment to be re-distributed to local schools and charities.

Devices helped support remote learning for school children, and community projects including helping older people stay in touch with family whilst shielding.

Over 65 devices were donated by local businesses. Additionally, this also gave new life to kit which may otherwise have been thrown away, helping the environment.

Throughout Covid-19 the district has seen organisations move heaven and earth to help others, supported by an army of volunteers giving their time for free. Project partner ICT Reverse gave their time, expertise and software free of charge to wipe devices to industry standard, reassuring business donors that data was safely removed on any donated equipment.

Project co-ordinator Claire Louise Chapman says: “What’s important now is that we build on the time and energy given over the past few months to create a long-term programme for the district, where businesses can donate equipment with the confidence that this will be safely distributed to those most in need in our local communities.”

Anyone interested in supporting the ongoing initiative can get involved, either by donating devices, volunteering technical time to support digital skills development, or by contributing to the Digital Inclusion Fund TotalGiving™ – Digital Inclusion Fund – Bay Foundation – Fundraising Page set up to fund projects moving forward.

If more information contact ClaireLouise@tsvb.co.uk

Laptops for kids

The Laptops for Kids project aligned with the national Laptops for Kids Charity and was delivered locally through a partnership of local businesses, community group Lancaster and Morecambe Makerspace, Lancaster District CVS and Lancaster City Council. For more information about the project contact Claire Louise Chapman clairelouise@tsvb.co.uk 07557 688404

Pictured above Sophie Fosker of Global Link receiving PCs to be distributed to refugee and asylum seeker families to help support online learning.

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