Hackney’s Grasmere school pilots scheme to give autistic youngsters iPads

MP Diane Abbott, Grasmere head teacher Mark Derrington and youngsters from the school - Evie Smith (

MP Diane Abbott, Grasmere head teacher Mark Derrington and youngsters from the school - Evie Smith (top right), Billy Reynolds, Mia Arthur (bottom left), Uma Jocelyn - Credit: Archant

MP Diane Abbott helped launch a new scheme to give children with learning disabilities free iPads.

The MP for Hackney North & Stoke Newington attended Grasmere Primary School’s winter fair to kickstart the Hearts and Minds iPad scheme which sees old mobile phones exchanged for a brand new iPad with autism-friendly apps and features.

The initiative is the brainchild of Hearts and Minds Challenge, a charity dedicated to helping families of children with autism.

Ms Abbott said it was an interesting scheme.

“It’s a really nice way of families helping other families internationally and we’ve all got mobile phones at home,” she said.


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“If people get their work mates to contribute as well then it should be very successful.”

Grasmere is the first school in London to pilot the scheme which has already been successful in 269 schools in Manchester, Nottingham and Ipswich.

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The charity is urging anyone with unwanted mobile phones to drop them into the reception of Grasmere Primary School in Albion Road between Monday and Friday any time between 9am till 4pm.

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