Helping school children to receive their lessons while reducing harm to the environment

The need

Although children have returned to school there is a continuing need for computers in many homes to help them keep up with their schoolwork

There is a long standing ‘digital divide’ between the children who have a computer on the one hand and the 1.8 million children across the country who have no such advantage. In addition, home working by adults continues to be an important feature for many families, and children must often compete for computer time with parents and even brothers and sisters.

Many families just cannot afford the cost of extra equipment and their children are falling behind. Thanks to covid-19 the problem is greater than ever and is likely to continue well after the current crisis is over.

Reducing environmental harm

The project also helps to reduce the amount of electronic waste going to landfill. Over two million computers are thrown away each year in the UK. They all contain rare and valuable elements which, if reclaimed or the items refurbished, will reduce the need for intensive mining.

How does the project work?

Unwanted laptop computers are donated to Rotary by the public or local companies rather than being thrown away. In partnership with our sponsors Scan Computers Ltd and We Love Laptops in Horwich, Rotary arranges for the machines to be inspected, cleaned of data, and brought back to life suitable for use by school children. The work is undertaken at minimal cost to the project. The computers are donated free to local schools who decide where best to allocate them.


The project relies on the generosity of people donating their laptops or money to pay for the refurbishment. We aim to refurbish 100 laptops in the first instance, supported by four local Rotary Clubs, but the project will expand as the initiative gathers pace.

There are other schemes being pursued in parallel with our own but contact with local schools has identified more than enough need for all of them. Indeed, the problems of the ‘digital divide’ as well as the environmental benefit will persist long after the current pandemic becomes history.

For more information about this project and the opportunity to help, visit LAPTOPS4SCHOOLS here.

This project is a collaboration between four Rotary Clubs, click on a name to find out what else they are doing.

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