As I type this, we are a year into a global pandemic, meaning our schools are pretty much closed. I don’t want to make this all political, but we know there’s a big shortfall in the need for Laptops for children, so I decided to do something about it. I’m asking for your help too, so please give me a few minutes of your time and read on…
I can’t make much of a dent in the problem, but figured if I could buy just one laptop that could go directly to a child in need of one, then you know what, that would make a difference. So that’s what I did. And then I opened it up a bit to try and get some more.
One of my oldest friends is Justin Skinner, the owner of Orchard House Computers, another independently owned business in Suffolk. Justin started the business way before Woodfarm was even a twinkle in my eye. As the name of his business suggests, he’s a tech whizz, not to mention being a generous chap. I spoke to him about my idea of supplying some laptops for children, and he immediately said he’d help too.
I then spoke with another friend, Woodfarm regular guest Tracey Short, who happens to be Personal Development Lead and Head of Stem Faculty at Alde Valley Academy in Leiston. She told me that the school is in need of more Laptops in order to support our students during these difficult times. Tracey said “The community has been great in giving us some already but we need more to help give all our students the best chance in life. Alde Valley is a local school in Leiston with over 500 students from all walks of life. Remote learning has been difficult for some families due to them not having access to a computer. We have managed to ensure every family in our school is able to borrow a laptop from school, however sometimes there are 2 or 3 students (and a parent) using the one laptop.
Whilst we hope schools will go back in March, this might not be the case for all students. The virus will be with us for a while yet, so these laptops will be used to ensure students who are isolating can access their classroom teaching in real time. Having access to the right equipment to support their learning really does ensure that our students get the best of remote teaching and learning and helps to support them to progress and not fall behind their peers”
As well as not going down the political route in this post, I’m also not going to be drawn deeply into the education debate either. However, I look at things very simply, and if there are children without the fundamentals in place to be able to study, then I’d like to help if I can.
I managed to buy a boxed and reconditioned ASUS laptop online myself, so that got the ball rolling. Ok, it’s not going to allow the recipient to access the latest in super-duper gaming, but that’s not the point. It’s all set up and ready, with a built-in webcam for Zoom lessons, and enough memory and capability to more than handle what they will need for school. Justin is the technical one not me, but when I sent him the spec he said was ideal for what we need.
To add to the ASUS, Justin found three used new laptops he had, and had them brought up to date to make them fit for purpose too. I did get his guys to look over an old one of mine, but that has been sent to laptop heaven!
Anyway, where do you come in? Well…. I decided to set up a Just Giving page to see if we could raise a bit more money to buy some more reconditioned laptops like the first one. So please, please, please, if you’d like to do a little bit to help then I’d be very grateful, and although I’m sure we’ll never know the children who are benefitting from this mini initiative, they’ll be really grateful too. Please CLICK HERE to go to the Just Giving page, even if you just give a few pounds. It’ll all add up. I don’t know how many laptops we will be able to buy, once we’ve raised what we can, Justin and I have said that we’ll add to any money left over to buy another one, to ensure that every penny goes towards supplying laptops.
As we are both based in Suffolk, we are going to make sure they go to children in the county, though we know there are children in need all over the country. We can’t do it all but ‘every little helps’.
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE go to our Just Giving page by clicking the photo below and donate a little if you can.
There is another way you can help…
If you have an old laptop that you no longer need, then Justin and his team can possibly bring it up to spec and recondition it. If any parts are needed, then we can potentially utilise some of the money raised to buy parts. All the labour will be done for nothing, on a voluntary basis by Justin or his team, and of course parts will be purchased at cost. If you are able to help in this way, please email me directly to let me know what you have. It’ll need to be a maximum of 5 or 6 years old. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Anyway, that’s about it. Thank you very much for reading, and please, if you can donate even just a few pounds that would be awesome.