Mansfield students help end IT poverty by repairing old technology so people can have access to computers

Computer science students at West Nottinghamshire College are doing their bit to end digital poverty in the community while also honing their computer repair and upgrade services.

Friday, 11th June 2021, 1:35 pm

Mansfield-based campaign #WeMakeICTPossible – founded by three business owners – made contact with the college to help with its project to provide laptops, tablets and desktop systems to schoolchildren and young people in the community.

Gary Jordan, managing director of GMJ Solutions and chairman of Mansfield and Ashfield 2020, Martin Rigley, managing director of Lindhurst Engineering and Discover Ashfield chairman, and Katie Cooper-Lewis, director of Grace Consultancy Midlands, have been working together for several years on community-focused projects.

Their latest mission to provide PCs and laptops to children in schools and colleges called upon the talents of computer science students at the college.

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Students Jack Gray, Jonathan Hallowes and Peter Beardsley with Katie Cooper-Lewis from WeMakeICTPossible
Students Jack Gray, Jonathan Hallowes and Peter Beardsley with Katie Cooper-Lewis from WeMakeICTPossible

The students – who as part of their studies work for one of the college’s learning companies, Resolve IT – took up the challenge of refurbishing and repairing old technology so that young people who are experiencing digital poverty in the Mansfield and Ashfield areas could have access to IT.

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Katie, from #WeMakeICTPossible, said: “Last year we noticed that more and more young people didn’t have access to IT. Approximately 25 per cent of families in Mansfield don’t have a PC, so we wanted to help bridge that gap.

“With so many kind donations to date, we’ve managed to reach 240 families and provided children with the technology needed to undertake studies from home.

“West Nottinghamshire College has been so generous with their time and expertise in getting old laptops and PCs rebuilt. The students are very professional and thorough in their work and we’re going to continue working with the computer science team on this initiative.”

Jonathan Hallows, computer science student and member of the Resolve IT team, said: “Working on a real project like this helps us to understand the importance of working to deadlines and we get to apply our skills on a wide variety of computers which all work in different ways.

“We’ve replaced hard drive to comply with data protection rules and performed all the relevant maintenance checks. It’s very rewarding to work on this project, knowing the equipment is going to be used by pupils who wouldn’t have had access to a computer before this.”

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