Council donates computers to pupils to tackle digital poverty

South Northamptonshire Council has donated 20 surplus computers to schoolchildren who do not have access to one, with plans to donate more as they become available.

Published: Thursday, 4th February 2021

School closures caused by the coronavirus pandemic have meant students now need technological devices to keep up with online lessons and schoolwork while at home.

The lockdown and the closure of schools has brought the digital divide to the forefront with many children and families suffering without access to a computer.

The council has been working with The Community Larder to identify where the technology is most needed. 

The first batch of computers were delivered to Blakesley School and Kislingbury School last week, with more to follow this week.

Councillor Karen Cooper, portfolio holder for wellbeing at South Northants Council said: “The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the divide that exists between those young people who have their own computer and those who do not have access to one at home.”

"All children and young people should have the tools to give them the best start in life and bridging the technology gap is so important in helping them to achieve their potential regardless of background.”

“I hope these computers help make home learning just that little bit easier for those families that need it.”

Miranda Wixon from The Community Larder said: “We have identified an urgent need for a further 200 computers in South Northants where children are not able to participate fully in lessons due to not having appropriate equipment at home.”

With the support of the Northamptonshire Community Foundation the Community Larder is participating in the Tech4kids campaign to source further equipment.

Miranda went on to say: “Every day lost to education is a day too many so the need to raise the profile of this campaign is most pressing. As soon as we have the equipment it can be passed straight into the hands of children who need it."

Councillor Cooper commented: “Businesses in Silverstone and Brackley are also helping to prepare donated second-hand tech to assist with the huge demand that we have here in South Northants.”

The council hopes to donate many more over the coming weeks and appeals to anyone who can donate surplus technology to get in touch with the Community Larder.

ENDS

Northamptonshire Community Larders are a community food hub based at Brackley, Bugbrooke, Roade and Towcester supported by SOFEA. Contact them at communitylardermkK@sofea.uk.com