(Pictured above: President Colin Chrebelski (left) with Mike Francis and some donated equipment)
Due to the coronavirus lockdown, most children have been home schooling. However, not all children have adequate access to IT equipment. Some have no access to the internet, or may only have access to one device shared between other family members. A clear divide has already been established in learning and development of children who do not have their own device.
In Cambridge, there is an active scheme run by Cambridge Online and Cambridge 2030 to provide refurbished computers to children. Both organisations needed more equipment. Cambridge Online is a charity directed towards helping people get online and is Colin’s chosen charity for his year as President. Cambridge Online was awarded a grant from South Cambridgeshire District Council to kick start the scheme.
The Community Service Committee team, headed by Mike Francis, ran an initiative to collect equipment from members and friends. Simon co-ordinated the collections and Mike Francis, Richard Stonebridge and Colin Chrebelski kindly volunteered to collect the equipment from Rutherford members.
Mike put out an initial email to members asking them to collect any unwanted tablets, laptops or desktops. Offers of equipment were soon flooding in. Some members did very well indeed with Paul Breen, Richard Scurr and Mike Francis coming up with nearly 50 items between them. Cambridge Online and Cambridge 2030 wipe the data from the donated devices and, after cleaning and testing them, they are distributed to children across Cambridge.
In total we collected nearly 90 items in a very short period including laptops, tablets and desktops. This will help support schoolchildren study effectively at home during the pandemic. It has been a great initiative and helped put old IT equipment to a very good use.
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