Help Children in Need of Technology

29 October 2020

Essex County Council (ECC) is appealing to residents and businesses to donate laptops to support Essex children in need.

Building on the government funded initiative during the lockdown, which saw 2000 laptops being provided to disadvantaged pupils, ECC is calling upon businesses, residents and local councils to donate old devices to provide to families and young people who need them.

With many places of education opting for a more blended learning offer and homework increasingly becoming an online activity, this new scheme will ensure that pupils from all walks of life are able to access their school or college work at home.

Phase one of this scheme has already begun and ECC has provided a number of devices already to children in college settings.

Cabinet Member for Children and Families, Cllr Louise McKinlay said: “Access to technology can be so important to supporting a child’s progress and educational development but there are many young people who simply don’t have access to a device.

Even though we have made great strides in ensuring those children most in need now have the equipment, there are still children and families that do not and this can limit their access to opportunities such as education or job applications.

At ECC we want to continue to do all we can to help children succeed. We have launched our own scheme, alongside our partners EOL IT Services, to recondition old unused devices which can then be distributed to families across Essex over the coming months.

ECC and its staff have already donated 500 of their old devices so far and we are working with partners who are keen to support this scheme. In addition, we have distributed 160 laptops to colleges as part of our first phase. These have been passed on to their students and has been very successful. I am very grateful to all who have supported the scheme but we want to go further. We cannot do this on our own and we are therefore asking for your help.

If you have an old or unused laptop device gathering dust or hidden away somewhere, with a bit of attention, it could make the world of difference to a child and family by giving them access to online resources and learning.”

The device must be a laptop, other devices cannot currently be accepted.  It does not matter the age, make or condition as they will all be used.  You can donate by bringing them to your local library during normal opening hours.  If you are dropping a laptop off please adhere to social distancing guidelines when doing so.

Once received, all laptops will receive a thorough clean inside and out with all data and programmes removed securely, no data on the device will be accessed during this process.

Where it is not possible to reuse a laptop, the device will be dismantled and sold for parts and the money raised will be put into a fund we can use to buy other laptops for the cause.

Working with colleagues across all sectors of ECC all devices will then be allocated around the county to those who most need them.

For questions relating to donating please email [email protected].

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