As the Covid pandemic took hold and schools were forced to close Computer Aid put out an appeal for the donation of laptops to help children continue their education through online learning. It is estimated that some 1.8million children do not have access to the technology at home to participate in online learning. BBC Radio, in its own appeal for computer donations, listed Computer Aid as one of the key organisations to receive such donations. We offered on our web site, and still do, to wipe remotely the hard drives of individual laptops and collect free of charge by courier those that we can reuse.
The result of our appeal was tremendous.
Large donations of laptops were received from companies specifically wanting to help online schooling. Many wanted to not only donate their laptops for reuse by schools but also agreed to cover the costs involved in collecting, processing, and distributing the laptops. One company Avanade agreed to purchase laptops from Computer Aid for use in schools in predominantly disadvantaged areas in the UK. Avanade is a company jointly owned by Microsoft and Accenture and chose Computer Aid to be its partner and agent in the UK for the provision of computers to schools and non-profits in accordance with its CSR policies.
Each school supported by Avanade received 25 laptops for use as it sees fit but particularly for pupils who would otherwise not have access to digital technology for online learning. The first school to receive laptops was the Bishop Tenison School, a church of England mixed secondary in Southwark, London.
Another school that received a laptop through Avande was the Upton Court Grammar School who will be using the laptops to enrich and enhance the curriculum across all subjects:
Executive Headteacher from Upton Court Grammar:
'We were delighted by your generosity and our IT technicians are very pleased with the addition of these devices to our available resources. We will use the laptops to enrich and enhance our curriculum across all subjects, with a focus on STEAM; I have no doubt that students will enjoy and benefit from using these devices and further progress in their learning. One of our core values at our school is service and your organisation has role modelled this value for all our students in donating equipment to us in this way.'