Recycled laptops help Mansfield and Ashfield schoolchildren in 'digital poverty'

Unused laptops are being collected from businesses and homes in Mansfield and Ashfield to help families experiencing ‘digital poverty’ during the pandemic.

Thursday, 21st January 2021, 12:30 pm

‘Digital poverty’ refers to a lack of ICT equipment and has been highlighted during the pandemic as more adults are expected to work from home and children to home-school.

Following an appeal for business and residents to donate unused equipment 55 laptops have just been delivered to schools across the Mansfield and Ashfield region.

Gary Jordan, Chair of Mansfield and Ashfield 2020 business group, said it was due to “fantastic local support” that the cleansed and reloaded laptops were delivered. A further 65 are being prepared by friends of the ‘WeMakeICTPossible’ group.

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Gary Jordan, Chair of Mansfield & Ashfield 2020 business group, with a donated laptop set to help a school child in the Mansfield area

The first schools to benefit were Queen Elizabeth’s Academy, at Sutton; the Academy Transformation Trust Further Education (College), Sutton; Sutton Road Primary, Sutton; King Edward Primary, Mansfield; Holgate Primary and Nursery, Hucknall; Manor Academy at Mansfield Woodhouse; Woodland View Primary, Sutton and Brackenhill School, Kirkby-in -Ashfield. Meden School, at Warsop and Orchard Primary and Nursery at Kirkby in Ashfield are yet to be collected.

Gary said: “Massive thanks go to the Coal Authority staff for engaging with the project, all other businesses, family and friends who have donated so far and particular thanks to Alan Hughes of Rock Salt Solutions Limited for helping us get many of them ready.

“Digital poverty was here long before COVID 19 and whilst it is fantastic to see so many groups collecting laptops during the latest lockdown back in late October 2020, myself, Martin Rigley and Katie Cooper Lewis set about this idea with a longer term view of help as digital poverty will be here long after COVID is under control unfortunately.

Laptops and equipment destined to ease digital poverty

“Digital poverty in children will and can lead to digital exclusion as an adult. We will continue our work and sincerely hope the many new groups do the same.”

To help contact: Facebook, Twitter and Linked in @wemakeICTpossible. Donations to buy other equipment such as 4G routers and items needed to make donated desktop systems usable are also welcomed.

The Government recently announced that disadvantaged pupils across Nottinghamshire have received 1,046 laptops and tablets so far, as part of the 700,000 devices delivered across England. The new devices are part of a commitment to deliver 1.3 million during lockdown.

Gary Jordan Chair of Mansfield & Ashfield 2020 business group with a donated laptop - part of a campaign to solve digital poverty during pandemic