‘Donate a Device’ provides technology to the UK’s children who need it the most

Monday, January 25, 2021

Evidently there is a huge problem on hand to provide children with the equipment they need, to receive education at a critical time in their lives, and through one of the most challenging times in history across the UK. Therefore, to play its role in combatting this societal problem, Giacom partnered with Pepperells Solicitors to support its ‘Donate a Device’ initiative.

The UK’s digital divide is a problem the UK Government has tried to solve for several years. Exacerbated by home-schooling through the Covid-19 pandemic; the divide has gained further attention and awareness in recent months; and is something Government and several partners across the UK are trying to tackle as it strives to educate children through the crisis.

To highlight the scale of the problem, social mobility organisation, the Sutton Trust, says that in the first week of the January 2021 lockdown, just 10% of teachers overall reported that all their students have adequate access to a device for remote learning. While 17% report that more than 1 in 5 of their students don’t have such access. Which it says isn’t substantially different to the situation in last spring’s lockdown.

Furthermore, the BBC says an estimated 2.6 million school children live below the poverty line in England alone, and Ofcom estimates that about 9% of children in the UK – between 1.1 million and 1.8 million – don't have access to a laptop, desktop or tablet at home. More than 880,000 children live in a household with only a mobile internet connection.

Evidently there's a huge problem on hand to provide children with the equipment they need, to receive education at a critical time in their lives, and through one of the most challenging times in history across the UK. Therefore, to play its role in combatting this societal problem, Giacom has partnered with Pepperells Solicitors to support its ‘Donate a Device’ initiative.

The campaign encourages organisations and people to donate redundant devices to the ‘Donate a Device’ campaign. Generally, the initiative is after laptops, and many schools have a preference for Chrome OS devices; but it’s open to receiving others, like Kindle Fire 7 tablets.

Unfortunately, however, there are some restrictions on what can be donated and accepted to ‘Donate a Device’ and mobile phones and traditional Kindles will be turned down.

Initially, devices will be passed to children who need them the most across the Hull, East Riding, Scunthorpe, Grimsby and Lincoln regions. Pepperells is working with several education partners to distribute devices fairly to those children in need. For example, the initiative would be happy to receive any old laptops laying in a cupboard at home not being used or any redundant business equipment following an IT upgrade.

Giacom is helping to support the process of cleansing and re-provision the laptop and devices – meaning data and unnecessary applications will be removed from equipment and that the technology will be brought to a state that is ready to be used by learners. Once this has been completed, the devices will be shared with an array of education partners who will put the device in the hands of children who need it the most, so that they can continue their education effectively.

Ben Pepperell, chief executive officer, Pepperells Solicitors said, “The pandemic caused chaos with people’s lives in 2020 and, as yet, seems to have unfortunately carried on its rampage into 2021. We must do what we can to help people in crisis and it continues to be a time where we must be grateful for what we have; and, in turn, support our community as best we can. On hearing horror stories of parents not being able to educate their children from home; or having to choose between which child they could educate, as they had only one device in the home but two children, it was clear that this cause became a well worthy one. We simply wish to play our part in trying to make any difference.”

Giacom is proud to support Pepperells and the local community with this important initiative. The country will be able to make a dent in this problem if organisations and the public work together to provide laptops to the people who need it the most.

Find out more about the ‘Donate a Device’ initiative and how you or your organisation can participate.

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