Locals urged to donate laptops for Hackney pupils

The council is asking residents and businesses to doante laptops for Hackney students. Picture: PA/D

The council is asking residents and businesses to doante laptops for Hackney students. Picture: PA/Dominic Lipinski - Credit: PA/Dominic Lipinski

Hackney residents and businesses are being called on to help the borough’s pupils by donating unwanted laptops.

The council has launched an appeal asking for donations as it believes around 4,000 pupils do not have “sufficient access” to ICT facilities at home.

School closures caused by the coronavirus pandemic have meant students now need technological devices to keep up with online lessons and school work while social-distancing at home.

Deputy Mayor of Hackney, Cllr Anntoinette Bramble, said: “The coronavirus pandemic really highlighted the digital divide that exists between those young people who have their own computer and those who do not have access to one at home at all.”

Cllr Bramble says a government scheme providing 1,500 laptops “wasn’t sufficient” and schools have been forced to loan equipment to students temporarily or raise funds to purchase devices to meet the need.

“The Mayor and I have written to the government to ask for more, but we cannot wait for them to act.

“We know that when schools return in September there will be continued emphasis on online learning and homework, and we want to make sure that none of our pupils are disadvantaged by that. So today we are calling on local businesses and residents to donate any spare laptops they may have.”

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She is urging local residents and businesses to donate to “demonstrate how the Hackney spirit can make a real difference to children in the borough.”

Donated devices will be wiped clean of any data and be repurposed with the software children need.

The council also welcomes financial donations which will enable them to buy refurbished computers for students.

For more information - and to find out about the specification of devices needed - visit hackney.gov.uk/laptops