• Ray Jefferson

LAPTOP PROJECT LAUNCHED ON VALENTINE’S DAY

Updated: Mar 9

Four Rotary Clubs in the Bolton and Salford areas have launched a new project to make

laptop computers available to school children learning at home. The Clubs are working in partnership with SCAN Computers and We Love Laptops based in Horwich, who will ensure that computers donated by members of the public are properly refurbished before being supplied free of charge to local schools.

Rotary District Officer, Swati Mukherjee said, “Since one of our sponsors is called We Love Laptops we thought it would be very appropriate to launch this much needed project on Valentine’s Day.”

In keeping with the theme, the first to donate a computer were Mike and Margaret Parker of Ladybridge, near Bolton. Margaret commented, “We are delighted to start things off. We know from the experience of our own granddaughter that home-schooling during the pandemic can be a challenge, but it must be so much harder if you don’t have the right equipment.”


The need

Many parents are finding the Covid lockdown stressful, especially if their children are

struggling to keep up with the lessons their teachers are putting online. Some children are known to be using mobile phones, some must share a computer with others in the family, some have limited data allowances, and some have no computer available at all.

Rotary has put their project together to help tackle these problems and to prevent children from falling behind their friends in their schoolwork. The new project is called

Laptops4Schools and aims to bring redundant laptops back to life and to make them available free of charge to school children.


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 in various parts of the world.


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.


Donations

The project relies on the generosity of people to donate their laptops or money to pay for the refurbishment. The aim is to refurbish 100 laptops in the first instance, but the project will expand as the initiative gathers pace. Anyone interested to make a donation can do so by visiting the website at www.laptops4schools.org.uk where there is more information about the project.


There are other schemes being pursued in parallel with this one 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.


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