At Tiverton Primary School, over 180 children are living in Digital Poverty and do not have access to laptops or computers at home.
Expedia Group were able to donate 12 refurbished laptops, helping 12 local families stay connected to education and crucial resources, throughout lockdown.
Digital Poverty and exclusion is an enormous issue in the UK, increasingly so due to COVID 19. It's now a legal requirement for families to "have access to remote education" but alarmingly high numbers of families live without laptops and wifi. Children have no access to online learning and parents have no way to access the help they need. This BBC article highlighted the stark reality of the issue, which has since worsened.
At Community Laptops we connect large organisations keen to re-distribute electronic devices, with schools and grassroots groups who can make sure devices reach the families who need them most.
Expedia Group, the first to partner with our new Community Laptops initiative, stepped up to help this week. Tech operations support, a team within Expedia that looks after all hardware infrastructure across the company, were more than happy to help and had already noted that they could be doing more with laptops that were no longer required by the organisation. Wayne Ophelia (Mgr, Tech Operations Support) and Salman Erisir (IT Technical Support Tech) helped wipe the laptops, ready for the handover and had them delivered within days.
Since lockdown, we have been committed to providing our recycled stock to Schools, Uni's and local council's we are now also committed to providing laptops when we can to the Junior journeys program - Wayne Ophelia
The headteacher of Tiverton Primary School, Resham Mirza, was elated to receive the donated laptops which she says will make an unbelievable difference to families, many of whom are in precarious financial and housing situations. This Instagram post that speaks so well to the needs of the school, in the absence of support from elsewhere.
We are now looking to other organisations to look at their inventory of unused devices and ask “could we be doing more?”. Many organisations have processes in place to recycle devices but often struggle knowing where the greatest need is and that is where the Community Laptops initiative can help.
For more Community Laptops, please visit www.communitylaptops.co.uk.
A huge thank you to Expedia Group, and Tiverton Primary School for all they do for their communities!